LOS ANGELES — A federal court in California has ruled Nestle USA Inc. must face a proposed class action lawsuit in connection with the labeling of numerous products, including Lean Cuisine ravioli, Buitoni tortelloni and Coffee-mate, as containing “No G.M.O. Ingredients,” according to Bloomberg News.
In proceedings before the U.S. District Court of the Central District of California, Nestle contended that the plaintiff, Jennifer Latiff, had not shown “injury in fact.” Ms. Latiff said the company’s products contained bioengineered ingredients while its labels create an impression a neutral, third-party certified the products as G.M.O. free. The judge ruled Ms. Latiff relied on the label and paid higher market prices than she otherwise would have paid, giving her standing to sue.
Responding to an inquiry by Food Business News, Kate Shaw, a Nestle spokesperson, said, “While we are disappointed with this ruling, it is purely procedural in nature and is in no way determinative of the merits of the plaintiff’s allegations, which remain unproven. Our product labels declaring the absence of G.M.O. ingredients are accurate, comply with F.D.A. and U.S.D.A. regulations, and provide consumers with information to help them make informed purchasing decisions. As indicated on our labels, the process for manufacturing Nestle’s products bearing a ‘No G.M.O. Ingredients’ claim is verified by SGS, a world leader in third party inspection, verification, testing and certification.”