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|Campbell Soup GMO Class Action Lawsuit Survives Dismissal Bid|
- Thursday, 30 May 2013 08:49
Campbell Soup GMO Class Action Lawsuit Survives Dismissal Bid
By Matt O'Donnell
A Florida federal judge has rejected Campbell Soup Co.’s bid to dismiss a class action lawsuit accusing the company of falsely marketing its soups as “All Natural” when they’re made with genetically modified corn, saying he was “not impressed” by Campbell’s argument that federal approval of a related products preempts claims against the soups at issue.
“There is nothing special about being in the same product line from a preemption perspective,” U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas said in a ruling issued May 24, 2013.
Dimitrouleas said that “from a purely logical standpoint,” if he adopted Campbell’s position it would mean he would also have to take the position that because the USDA approved the two soup products at issue this case, that no claims can be made in any case against any defendant that it is misleading to label a food product containing GMO corn as “100% Natural.”
“There is nothing special about being in the same product line from a preemption perspective,” Judge Dimitrouleas said. “We do not even know whether, when reviewing the label for whether it was ‘misleading,’ the USDA even knew that the soup contained GMO corn, particularly as there is nothing on the soup label to so indicate.”
Judge Dimitrouleas further denied Campbell's arguments that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has primary jurisdiction over the issue, saying the FDA has repeatedly declined to adopt formal rule-making that would define the word “natural” and therefore “simply does not regulate those claims.”
The ruling allows Florida resident Mark Krzykwa to continue with his class action lawsuit accusing Campbell of misleading consumers about its 100% Natural Soups line because they contain ingredients grown from genetically modified seeds.
Krzykwa argues that these “All Natural” claims are false because the soups contain GMOs, which are genetically altered plants that pose distinct risks. He says he would not have purchased the products if he knew they contained GMO ingredients.
He is seeking to represent a Class of all Florida consumers who purchased 100% Natural Light Southwestern-Style Vegetable Soup, 100% Natural Tomato Garden Soup, and/or 100% Natural Vegetable Medley Soup flavors containing corn since September 2009.
The Campbell Soup GMO Class Action Lawsuit case is Krzykwa et al. v. Campbell Soup Co., Case No. 12-cv-62058, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
Krzykwa is represented by Benjamin M. Lopatin and Howard W. Rubinstein of The Law Office of Howard W. Rubinstein PA and by Angela Valentina Arango-Chaffin of The Florida Chaffin Law Firm.
Updated May 30th, 2013
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Last Updated on Thursday, 30 May 2013 08:49