The popular ketchup company Heinz is one of those brands that enjoys a sterling reputation in the United States because of the sentimental value attached to its products, but recently, more and more people have begun questioning the ethics of the company after a potential case of false advertising regarding GMOs and one of Heinz’s supposed “natural” products.
The company was recently the latest to be hit with a lawsuit over alleged false claims of misrepresenting a product as being “natural” even though it actually contains genetically modified ingredients.
According to a copy of the complaint obtained by the website FoodNavigator, paintiff Debbie Banafsheha has said that Heinz’s all-natural claims about the vinegar are “false, deceptive, misleading and unfair to consumers, who are injured in fact by purchasing products that (Heinz) claims are “all natural” when in fact they are not.”
The particular complaint cites the brand’s high-selling distilled white vinegar.
Previous “All Natural” Lawsuits Surrounding the GMO Question
Previous lawsuits for similar improprieties have been filed against brands ranging from Pop Chips to Naked Juice to Barbara’s “natural” cereal line and more.
So far, success has been seen, including with Naked Juice where PepsiCo agreed to settle the suit and to pay consumers $9 million for the misleading labels.
Also according to the complaint as noted by the site Organic Authority: “[Heinz] sources its ingredients from U.S. commodity suppliers who supply GM crops. Large volume food manufacturers who wish to use non-GM ingredients must specifically source their crops, typically from Europe, or undertake the additional step and expense of purchasing and verifying the supply from non-GM growers through identity preservation programs.
“In most instances, manufacturers who purchase only non-GM crops for their products specifically label their products non-GMO.”
Heinz plans to fight the lawsuit, even though their product almost certainly contains genetically modified, and thus non-natural, ingredients.
A rep from the company told FoodNavigator that it is “a groudless lawsuit and we look forward to vigorously defending our product.”
This statement about the product appears on Heinz’s website: “Heinz® Distilled White and Apple Cider Vinegars are all natural, made only from corn or apples and crystal-clear water.”
While apples are not GMO (although one is in the works), corn is almost certainly GMO if sourced from the United States in such large qualities.
For now, consumers are being fooled by the labels, but past history suggests that some labeling changes may be in store for the vinegar product, however, after the lawsuit cycled is completed.
And hopefully, consumers get the message now and stop buying the product.
Thanks for reading!
P.S. Find out a recipe for an all-natural weedkiller that contains organic vinegar (instead of Heinz’s) by clicking on this article.