Lawsuit against Chipotle to go forward

by Erica Shaffer
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Chipotle restaurant 
Chipotle remains in a legal battle with Leslie Reilly.  
MIAMI – A federal judge denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit that claims Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. deceived customers about using only non-GMO ingredients in its foods. A trial date has been set for November in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

Leslie Reilly, the plaintiff, filed the lawsuit and is seeking class-action status. Reilly claims she paid a premium price for Chipotle’s food because she believed the food did not contain GMOs. Reilly is accusing Chipotle of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment. Reilly’s lawsuit is similar to one filed by Colleen Gallagher in August 2015. A judge threw out that lawsuit after Gallagher withdrew from the case.

On its website, Chipotle says the meat and dairy products served at its restaurants “…are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed…” because most animal feed produced in the United States is genetically modified. The company also states on its website that beverages sold in its restaurants contain high fructose corn syrup “which is almost always made from GMO corn.”

In April 2015, Chipotle pledged to use non-GMO ingredients at its restaurants, including the company’s ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen restaurants. At the time, Chipotle said most of the GMOs in its foods were tied to soybean oil used to cook chips and taco shells and for cooking on grills and sauté pans. Chipotle corn and flour tortillas also included some GMO ingredients.

The case is Reilly v. Chipotle Mexican Grill Case No. 15-Civ-23425.

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