Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research determine where and how companies may appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

By Kerry Close
Updated: February 26, 2016 9:16 AM ET | Originally published: February 25, 2016
Michael B. Thomas—AFP/Getty Images

Parmesan aficionados may have been shocked to learn last week that their favorite brands of grated cheese, in fact, contain wood pulp. But one cheese connoisseur, a Walmart patron, is taking his indignation a step further, by suing the chain for misrepresenting the product.

The plaintiff, Marc Moschetta, claims he was persuaded to purchase Walmart’s Great Value “100% Grated Parmesan Cheese” at a premium price because he believed the label claimed it was 100% cheese. In a complaint filed Tuesday, he accuses the retailer of misleading business practices because the cheese actually contains between 7 and 10% cellulose, a filler derived from wood chips, CNBC reported.

On Feb. 16, Bloomberg News reported that many popular Parmesan cheese brands advertised as “100% Parmesan cheese” actually use wood pulp and cellulose as cheap fillers. Bloomberg’s independent investigation revealed that some brands—such as Essential Everyday 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese, from Jewel-Osco—had unsafe levels of cellulose. Others, like Whole Foods 365 brand, showed traces of cellulose, despite the fact that their labels did not list it as an ingredient.

In Bloomberg’s investigation, Walmart’s grated cheese was revealed to contain 7.8% cellulose. Moschetta’s suit, which seeks a jury trial, claims “material misrepresentations” under New York state law, as well as in 42 other states.

“We know earning customer trust starts with high standards for the products we carry. We take this matter seriously,” Walmart said in a statement. “We will review the allegations once we have received the complaint and will respond appropriately with the court.”

While the case hasn’t yet been granted class action certification, Moschetta’s attorney told CNBC that others have expressed interest in latching onto the case against Walmart.

Update: This story has been updated to include a statement from Walmart.

Advertiser Disclosure

The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

EDIT POST