Cases & Investigations

Nestle GMO Labeling Lawsuit: False Advertising of “No GMO” Products

PRACTICE AREAS: Consumer Protection
CASE STATUS: Under Investigation

Berger Montague is investigating potential class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers who purchased Nestle dairy products that were falsely labeled as “No GMO.” We are especially interested in speaking to California or New York residents who have bought these products.

Why are you investigating Nestle?

Nestle allegedly labeled several of its dairy products as “No GMO” when they do include GMOs. If you have purchased a Nestle dairy product that contained a “No GMO” label, contact Berger Montague. You may be able to file a class action lawsuit.

Nestle products labeled “No GMO” that may include GMOs are:

  • Coffee-mate Natural Bliss Creamer
  • Buitoni’s Four-Cheese Ravioli
  • Lean Cuisine Marketplace’s Cheese Tortellini
  • Dreyer’s/Edy’s Slow-Churned Ice Cream

What is a GMO?

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is a plant, animal, or other organism whose genetic makeup includes genes from the DNA of an unrelated species. GMOs are the result of a laboratory process.

Are GMOs safe?

While many developed nations have significant restrictions or bans on the production and sale of GMOs, the United States allows GMOs to be produced and sold. In May 2016, the National Academy of Sciences released a report stating that GMOs are safe to eat and have allowed farmers of some crops to spray less insecticide on their crops. However, there are still organizations such as Food & Water Watch and The Non-GMO Project that believe GMOs can be harmful.

Are GMOs labeled?

Sixty-four countries around the world require genetically modified foods to be labeled, but the United States did not follow suit until 2016. On July 29, 2016, President Obama signed a bill amending the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946. The amendment requires the Secretary of Agriculture to create a national disclosure standard for genetically modified foods. While the new law states that foods containing GMOs must be labeled, the secretary has two years to develop specific rules about the labeling.

What is the difference between “non-GMO” labels and “all natural” labels?

As stated above, a GMO is an organism such as a plant or animal whose genes have been mixed with the DNA of another species. If a food product has a “non-GMO” label on it, this should mean it doesn’t contain any genetically modified ingredients. However, since specific rules about GMO labeling are still being developed, this might not always be the case.

“All natural” labels are not regulated in the United States outside of the meat and poultry industries. In order to be labeled “all natural,” meat and poultry must be minimally processed and free of any artificial ingredients. While these are the only industries with formal guidelines for the term “all natural,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does have informal guidelines for other industries. According to the FDA, products labeled as “all natural” should not contain anything artificial or synthetic. But, since these are informal guidelines, they are not reinforced.

Previous GMO settlements

Several GMO-related class action lawsuits have been settled over the past few years, some of which include:

  • Barbara’s Bakery: In June 2013, cereal and snack maker Barbara’s Bakery Inc. paid $4 million to a nationwide class of consumers who claimed the company’s “all natural” labels were misleading because its cereals contain GMOs.
  • Naked Juice: In July 2013, Naked Juice Co. paid $9 million to settle a consolidated putative class action alleging that it falsely advertised some of its products as “all natural” and non-genetically modified.
  • Kashi: In June 2015, Kashi Co. paid $4 million to resolve a proposed class action accusing the company of falsely labeling products containing GMOs as “all natural.”

Do I have to pay to consult with an attorney?

We are happy to talk with you about your potential claims free of charge. If we decide to represent you in a lawsuit, we will enter into a written contingent fee agreement with you. A contingent fee agreement means we only get paid if we win, and that we will receive our fees from the amount paid by the Defendant in the case.

Please contact us to discuss the details of your case. You may:

  1. Use the contact form on this page
  2. Email
  3. Call (800) 424-6690

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