A consumer has filed a putative class action against Quorn Foods, Inc. alleging the term “mycoprotein,” which the company uses in its advertising, implies the product is “the same or substantially similar to a mushroom, truffle or morel” but Quorn products “are actually made of mold.” Birbrower v. Quorn Foods, Inc., No. 608107 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cnty., C. Dist., complaint filed January 22, 2016).
The complaint argues that Quorn labels misrepresent “mycoprotein,” specifically citing the packaging claim that “Quorn [products] are made with mycoprotein (‘myco’ is Greek for ‘fungi’) and are completely meatless and soy-free. There are believed to be over 600,000 varieties of fungi in the world, many of which are among the most sought after foods like varieties of mushroom, truffles, and morels.” The plaintiff alleges violations of California consumer-protection statutes and fraud, and she seeks an injunction, implementation of product labels that state that “this product contains mold,” a disclosure on the company’s web site to explain that “the ‘mycoprotein’ ingredient in Quorn products is fermented soil mold; it is not a mushroom, truffle or morel,” restitution, and attorney’s fees. Additional information about a wrongful death lawsuit against Quorn appears in Issue 560 of this Update.