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Beyond Meat Hit with Lawsuits Over False Labeling
USAgNet - 06/21/2022

A new federal lawsuit was filed today against Beyond Meat and its CEO Ethan Brown alleging false advertising and unfair competition. The suit, filed in the Central District of California, claims that Beyond Meat overstates the protein value of its products by up to 30% and has falsely represented that its products are free from "synthetic" ingredients.

Yahoo News reports that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of Don Lee Farms, a leading plant-based and meat protein manufacturer for national food brands and previously the exclusive supplier of the Beyond Burger and Beyond Meat products.

The suit alleges that Beyond Meat's false claims "are central to Beyond's pitch to customers, business partners, retailers, and investors." The complaint quotes Ethan Brown as stating that Beyond Meat's "commitment to all natural" is at the very "core of [their] company," but goes on to allege that "Beyond Meat's Beyond Burgers contain 'methylcellulose'" - an ingredient that the scientific literature recognizes "does not occur naturally and is synthetically produced."

The complaint also attaches testing results "conducted by an internationally accredited laboratory that followed rigorous testing methods." According to the complaint, this testing shows that Beyond Meat has inflated its protein claims by upwards of 30% and has "caused misbranded goods to be sold throughout the supply chain."

Additionally, in a separate lawsuit, Beyond Meat and Beyond Meat's senior management team are being sued for breach of contract and fraud. The fraud claim contains allegations that they deliberately altered and excluded important information from a food safety consultant's report before it was sent to Don Lee Farms. Trial in that case is set for September 26th, 2022 in Los Angeles Superior Court.

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