Many Americans recently found out that the “grated Parmesan cheese” they’ve been sprinkling on their pasta dishes may be infused with cellulose – a wood pulp product – and in some cases, contains no Parmesan at all.
Now Walmart is being sued for allegedly defrauding customers by selling containers labeled “100 Percent Grated Parmesan Cheese,” when tests have shown that its Great Value brand of Parmesan cheese actually contains up to 10 percent cellulose, a complex carbohydrate extracted from wood pulp that works as an anti-clumping agent, Consumerist reports.
The Food and Drug Administration allows as much as 4 percent of cellulose in Parmesan cheese products.
According to the lawsuit – which was filed by Walmart customer Marc Moschetta in a Manhattan federal court and seeks class-action status – Moschetta said he would not have purchased the green container of Great Value-brand Parmesan cheese if he had known that “the 100 percent representation is false and mischaracterizes the amount and percentage of Parmesan cheese in the container.”
“We know earning customer trust starts with high standards for the products we carry,” Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told CNBC. “We take this matter seriously. We will review the allegations once we have received the complaint and will respond appropriately with the court.”
Just last week, a California consumer filed a similar complaint against Kraft and its allegedly mislabeled grated Parmesan cheese, Bloomberg reports.
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