Judge tosses suits over '100% Parmesan' claims
The Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on companies cutting corners with 100% real Parmesan cheese by using cheap fillers like wood pulp. A Bloomberg Business report shows many of the brands you buy contain levels of wood.
CHICAGO — A judge has dismissed lawsuits that allege labels touting "100 percent grated Parmesan" are deceptive because the products include non-cheese ingredients.
Judge Gary Feinerman on Thursday tossed five lawsuits against major producers and retailers that were consolidated into a single case in Chicago federal court.
His 25-page written ruling concludes that the companies' "labeling and marketing, when viewed as a whole ... are not deceptive."
He noted that full ingredients are listed on the products and make clear that cellulose, a filler made from wood pulp, is mixed into the Parmesan.
Feinerman cites one Kraft Heinz Parmesan product that lists "cellulose powder" as an ingredient meant "to prevent caking."
Messages left after working hours seeking comment from the plaintiffs' lead attorney and from Kraft Heinz weren't returned.