Amended Complaint in Kraft Lawsuit Alleging Dangerous Chemicals in Cheese Powder

The Kraft Heinz Company is being sued by two California residents for alleged dangerous chemical ingredients in its Kraft Macaroni and Cheese products. 

Aaron Clarke and Michelle Devera filed a first amended class action complaint against the food and beverage company last Friday, claiming that they would not have purchased its macaroni and cheese products if their labels had disclosed that they contained phthalates. At the very least, the plaintiffs said they would have paid less for the products.

According to the lawsuit, phthalates are synthetic chemicals used to make plastics flexible, and can leach into food products during the preparation and packaging processes. Phthalates allegedly interfere with the body’s natural levels of hormones, increasing the risk of cancer, obesity and developmental deficits in children.

“For years, Kraft has known about the presence of phthalates in its Products,” the plaintiffs stated. “Since at least 2017, consumer advocacy groups have called on Kraft to take steps to remove these chemicals from its Products, yet Kraft has steadfastly refused to do so.”

The suit claims that Kraft intentionally failed to disclose the presence of phthalates in its products to not only sell them at a higher price, but to mislead consumers into purchasing them in the first place. The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory, statutory and punitive damages to be determined by the court. 

Kraft is in the process of filing a motion to transfer the hearing from the Northern District Court of California to the Northern District Court of Illinois. The company has until 21 days after the ruling on the motion to transfer to respond to the amended complaint. 

The plaintiffs are represented by Bursor & Fisher. The suit was initially filed in April 2021. Kraft is also currently being sued in the Northern District of Illinois for similar allegations.