A California woman has filed a putative class action against Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. alleging that, despite advertised claims to the contrary, the company’s restaurants do not serve food free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Gallagher v. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., No.15-3952 (N.D. Cal., filed August 26, 2015). The complaint asserts that although the company advertised in April 2015 that it would remove GMOs from its food, “Chipotle serves meat products that come from animals which feed on GMOs, including corn and soy. Chipotle’s tacos and burritos are also usually served with sour cream and cheese from dairy farms that feed animals with GMOs.” In addition, Chipotle sells soft drinks made with GMO corn syrup, the complaint notes.
Colleen Gallagher seeks to represent a California class to obtain damages and an injunction for alleged violations of the state’s consumer protection statutes. Chipotle became the first fast-casual chain to disclose whether its ingredients contained GMOs in June 2013; details appear in Issue 488 of this Update.