A class action lawsuit was filed against Nestle USA, Inc for misleading consumers about its products that bear a “No GMO Ingredients ™” certificate of approval on the packaging that appears to be that of an independent third-party, when, it in fact, is not.
Recognizing the value of independent certification in the marketplace, the Federal Trade Commission has warned companies against representations involving independent certification because they are misleading to consumers and has issued guidelines for companies to follow in order not to deceive. “It is deceptive to misrepresent, directly or by implication, that a product, package, or service has been endorsed or certified by an independent third party. 16 C.F.R. §260.6
As alleged in the complaint, in violation of these principles, Defendant has represented to consumers that several of the products it sells have been certified by an independent third party as not containing GMO ingredients, by affixing a No GMO Ingredients TM seal on the Products. According to the complaint, these representations by Defendant are false and the No GMO Ingredients ™ seal of approval is not the product of a neutral, third party, but instead the work of Defendant itself.