Critics launch campaign attacking Chipotle

Critics launch campaign attacking Chipotle
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The Center for Consumer Freedom has launched a campaign against Chipotle, calling the fast-casual Mexican restaurant chain unhealthy and “hypocritical”

The lobbying group ran a full-page ad in The New York Times on Thursday and has launched a website, www.chubbychipotle.com, to fight back against the company, which it says markets its products as “Food with Integrity” and free of genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs, to appear healthier.

“Chipotle uses claims like “GMO-free” to make its food seem better, however genetically improved foods are overwhelmingly recognized by scientists to be just as healthy and safe as conventional food,” the CCF said in a release. “But Chipotle’s burritos aren’t exactly the paragon of health food: The typical order at Chipotle has about 1,070 calories, according to The New York Times.”

The center said Chipotle has been inconsistent in its stance on GMOs by offering beverages that are sweetened with genetically modified corn, as well as its stance on antibiotic-free meats and animal welfare.

In an interview with Reuters, Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said the ad was a deliberate effort to smear the company.

“These are agenda-driven people who are being backed by unknown parties,” he said. “It doesn’t matter who they are as long as they pay.”

The CCF told Reuters it is supported by restaurants, foundations and individuals, but declined to name the company that funded the latest Chipotle campaign.