A California woman has sued Chipotle Mexican Grill, alleging false advertising, Reuters reported Tuesday. The woman claimed that although Chipotle announced in late April that it is the only national restaurant to use only ingredients free from genetically modified organisms, the restaurant is actually not free of them.
Colleen Gallagher filed a class-action lawsuit on Friday in a federal court in San Francisco, claiming Chipotle violated the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with false and misleading food labeling, and that it tricked customers into forking over more cash for their food.
"As Chipotle told consumers it was 'G-M-Over it,' the opposite was true," said Gallagher, Reuters reported. "In fact, Chipotle's menu has never been at any time free of GMOs."
The lawsuit also said the company’s public statements about its fresh food did not match up with reality.
“Chipotle has carefully tailored its public image by marketing to healthy-lifestyle and environmentally conscious consumers that it knows are willing to pay premium prices for its food,” the lawsuit stated, RT reported.
In late April, Chipotle claimed it was the first national restaurant company to use GMO-free ingredients. Chipotle’s website, though, has disclaimers about certain GMO content in some of its food. The disclaimers inform customers that most animal feed in the U.S. is genetically modified, so the meat and dairy served by Chipotle most likely comes from animals that have consumed GMOs. The disclaimers also state that many of the Mexican grill’s beverages contain GMOs.
The lawsuit is "meritless" and "filled with inaccuracies,” said Chris Arnold, Chipotle’s communications director, in an e-mail to Fortune. “Chipotle has always been honest and transparent with its customers, and the messaging surrounding our use of non-GMO ingredients is no exception.” Arnold also said that while the meat Chipotle serves is from animals fed GMO grains, “that does not mean that our meat is GMO, any more than people would be genetically modified if they ate GMO grains.”
Gallagher also filed a lawsuit in 2014, alleging that Bayer AG's One A Day multivitamins misled consumers as to the vitamin’s health benefits. A judge denied Bayer’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit on Aug. 18.