The legacy of Parmesan cheese in America faces another blow. Walmart has been sued for “allegedly deceptive, misleading, false, unfair, and fraudulent practices” over the issue of wood pulp traces found in Parmesan cheese.Walmart, along with many other store brands, has been accused of shilling “100 percent real Parmesan” that in fact contains up to 10 percent non-cheese fillers like cellulose made from wood pulp.
“Consumers reasonably rely on the label and believe [Walmart’s] statement that the product consists of ‘100%’ Parmesan cheese means no substitutes or fillers are present in the container,” the lawsuit states. “Because the product does in fact contain fillers and substitutes, the ‘100%’ Parmesan claim is literally false and is also misleading to consumers.”
The customer who filed the lawsuit seeks class action status. While this seems to be the first legal action taken against a retailer over WoodCheeseGate, according to Bloomberg, someone sued Kraft last week for the same issue.
Walmart has already recalled the offending product —Jewel-Osco’s Essential Everyday 100% Parmesan Cheese — and plans to phase it out and replace it with the premium brand instead, according to Consumerist.