Mission tortilla chipsA Florida woman has filed a class action lawsuit against Gruma Corp., the maker of Mission tortilla chips, accusing the company of deceiving customers with its “all natural” claims even though the chips contain GMOs.

Plaintiff Nichole Griffith alleges in the class action lawsuit that Gruma misleads its customers by promising that its Mission tortilla chips are natural even though they are allegedly made with genetically modified corn. She claims that Gruma’s “’all natural’ statement prominently placed on the Products’ packaging and/or labeling is false, misleading, and likely to deceive reasonable consumers.”

Griffith’s class action lawsuit follows a California federal judge’s decision to stay a similar action while the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) determines whether products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be marketed as “natural.”

“The product is simply not ‘All Natural,’ and it would be unreasonable for defendant to contend otherwise,” Griffith says in the class action lawsuit. “Genetically modified corn products contain genes and/or DNA that would not normally be in them, and that cannot be achieved through traditional crossbreeding, and are thus not natural, thereby causing the product to fail to be ‘all natural.’” She claims that Gruma knew, or should have known, that its products contain genetically modified ingredients.

In her class action lawsuit, Griffith points to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in which the court held that naturally occurring DNA sequences cannot be patented, establishing a legal distinction between natural and unnatural items.

“Because naturally occurring genes cannot be patented, it follows that genes that can be patented are not naturally occurring. Accordingly, because GMO seeds can be and are patented, they cannot be ‘natural’ and Defendant’s Products containing GMO ingredients are not properly labeled as ‘All Natural,’” Griffith argues.

Griffith says that, had she known that the Mission tortilla chips contained GMO corn, she never would have purchased the products, especially not at the premium price. Instead, she relied on Gruma’s representations that the chips were “all natural” and assumed that they did not contain GMO ingredients.

By filing her class action lawsuit, she seeks damages to be determined at trial, but no less than the difference between the premium price the class members paid for the Mission tortilla chips and the market value of the products.

In her class action lawsuit, Griffith asserted violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act and unjust enrichment. She claims that Gruma intended to deceive the general public into believing that its Mission tortilla chips were “all natural.” She argues that reasonable customers would not expect a product that is advertised as “all natural” to contain GMOs, and that Gruma intends to mislead consumers with this statement.

Potential members of the class action lawsuit include all Florida residents who purchased Mission tortilla chips since August 2009.

Griffith is represented by Joshua Harris Eggnatz of the Eggnatz Law Firm.

The Mission Tortilla Chips Class Action Lawsuit is Griffith v. Gruma Corporation, Case No. 9:13-cv-80791, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

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19 Comments

  • Mary M. August 20, 2013

    I just brought two bags of these chips for a family reunion picnic. I have the receipt. Got them from Wal-Mart.. don’t know about how all natural they was, all I know they was all gone.

  • Joanne Smith August 20, 2013

    I have been buying these for a while. I would have not knowing they had GMO’s!

  • Angela Ehrman August 20, 2013

    I didnt know they had chips contained GMO corn! I wouldnt have purchased them nor will I ever again purchase them!

  • Dorothy August 20, 2013

    When can i file…

  • Staci Johnson August 20, 2013

    I buy these every couple weeks to make nachos, terrible! Disturbing regarding their untruthful marketing practices.

  • Angela Allen August 20, 2013

    I use these every week for Nachos. Very upset that it has GMO’s.( Sad)

  • Susan August 21, 2013

    Wow … my family and I eat these all the time (our go-to chips). Very scary!

  • george-zimmeman August 21, 2013

    LMAO at you scammers!

  • loretta baty August 21, 2013

    i buy these and the flour tortillas from Mission

  • Susanal August 21, 2013

    I had been buying them for years. I did not know that they contained high GMO. Very disappointing and false advertixingt

  • Rebecca Chavez August 25, 2013

    Bought for years…Would like to be included in action.

  • VB August 25, 2013

    Aww man. First naked juice now the mission tortilla chips. These are (were) my healthnut husbands favorite items and now he’s pissed.

  • Janice Pfeiffer August 28, 2013

    Bummers, these were our favorite tortilla chips, great deal for the price and we thought were healthy choice. Let us know when this suit goes forward!

  • Lori August 30, 2013

    Wow and to think these where really natural…I have purchased these plenty of times..

  • Linda F. Walker September 3, 2013

    Sept 2, 2013

    Bought many bags of the chips throught the years..

  • Heather K September 3, 2013

    I have many bags of these chips, they were my favorite.

  • monique hopkins September 18, 2013

    I made plenty of purchases, please include me in the class action settlement.

  • Naomi Verdugo September 27, 2013

    Wow! I have bought tons of these…Thinking it was better than other chips because it says… Natural. Who can we trust!

  • John Krasta September 30, 2013

    When is the FDA going to ban all GMO’s or even mandate that all products with GMO’s be labled as such. I eat mission chips because I was under the impression they were all natural. Now I will have to find something else. Please include me in the Class Action

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