A proposed class action out of New York alleges coffee and food purveyor Pret a Manger’s health-conscious advertising is misleading in that its supposedly “natural” products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), traces of glyphosate and “numerous other synthetic ingredients.”
The lawsuit alleges the products misleadingly advertised by defendants Pret a Manger, Ltd. and Jab Holding Company range from salt & vinegar chips, a balsamic chicken and avocado sandwich, and their egg salad and arugula sandwich, to Pret’s chocolate brownie cookies, hazelnut croissants, and energy bagels. According to the case, the defendants’ purportedly natural products contain the common additives maltodextrin, citric, malic, ascorbic and lactic acid, mono- and diglycerides, and soya, which is derived from GMOs.
Reasonable consumers, the lawsuit says, do not expect synthetic ingredients in products advertised and labeled as “natural,” and lack “the meaningful ability to test or independently ascertain or verify” whether a product is as natural as its label claims.
“In making the false, misleading, and deceptive representations and omissions described herein, Defendants knew and intended that consumers would pay a premium for Products labeled ‘Natural’ over comparable products not so labeled,” the suit reads.