A consumer has filed a purported class action against Natural & Tasty LLC alleging that the company misleads consumers by labeling its Goldbaum Quinoa Crisps® as “All Natural” and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) despite containing ingredients made from corn and soy because “almost all corn and soy grown in the United States are grown from seeds that have been genetically modified.” Slavinski v. Natural & Tasty LLC, No. 15-80451 (S.D. Fla., filed April 7, 2015).
The complaint asserts that nearly all U.S. corn and soy are grown from GM seeds, “and as such, almost all corn and corn-based, as well as soy and soy-based ingredients in the United States are in fact unnatural, synthetic, artificial, and genetically modified ingredients.” The plaintiff points to several ingredients in the quinoa product as unnatural, including maltodextrin, whole grain corn flour, corn starch, and vegetable oil.
While similar lawsuits have cited the reasonable person standard in the context of what labeling information would mislead a reasonable consumer, the plaintiff argues that reasonable consumers base decisions on labels indicating the naturalness or GMO content of the product. Natural & Tasty “is well-aware that claims of food being ‘All Natural’ and/ or ‘GMO Free’ is material to reasonable consumers,” the plaintiff argues, because “reasonable consumers, such as Plaintiff and members of the Class, care whether food products contain unnatural, synthetic, artificial, and/or genetically modified ingredients” and “attach importance to ‘All Natural’ and/or “GMO Free’ claims when making a purchasing decision.” She alleges violations of Florida’s consumer protection statute and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act as well as negligent misrepresentation, unjust enrichment and breach of express warranty. She seeks class certification, damages and attorney’s fees.