ConAgra Sued Over ‘Natural’ Claims

by | Aug 26, 2011

A law firm is inviting consumers to submit claims against companies using the term “natural” on their foods, as the attorneys pursue a class-action lawsuit against ConAgra.

Milberg LLP filed suit against the food giant in June, saying that the company’s Wesson oil contains genetically modified ingredients and therefore doesn’t qualify as “natural,” Grist reports.

On its website, Milberg is now inviting consumers to apply to make a “free genetically modified organisms claim evaluation.” The page doesn’t mention Con-Agra by name, and actually cites food products by several manufacturers.

“Indeed, many companies selling GMO products target health and environmentally-conscious consumers by labeling them as ‘natural,’ even though they are composed of GMOs,” the site says. “For example, Kix cereal, Wesson oil, Pam spray, and Frito Lay chips all claim ‘100% Natural’ on their packaging, but in actuality they contain GMOs.”

Con-Agra makes Pam spray, but General Mills manufactures Kix, and Frito-Lay is a wholly owned subsidiary of PepsiCo.

Grist says the lawsuit could have a far-ranging impact, since up to 70 percent of processed foods sold in retail outlets contain genetically modified ingredients, according to the Center for Food Safety.

“Even though 90% of Americans want companies to disclose whether their products contain GMOs, most companies do not say that their GMO products are GMO,” Milberg says, on its site.

“The outcry against GMOs from other countries has been listened to by some companies, who now sell non-GMO products in those countries, although not in the US. For example, Hershey has developed non-GMO for Europe, although it is not doing so in the US.”

The law firm notes that the EU is seeking to give European nations the ability to limit or ban GMOs.

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