Iowa Pasta Controversy: The Hawkeye State is NOT in Italy
The very first mentions of pasta go all the way back to writings from the first century, and there is no place on the planet more synonymous with the flour, egg, and water creation than the country of Italy, which began manufacturing pasta on a mass scale in the 17th century.
But these days, pasta is being made in mass quantities all over the world, including in Iowa.
And that's the basis for a federal lawsuit.
According to CourtHouseNews.com, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu ruled this week that pasta maker Barilla cannot duck a class action for false and deceptive advertising, finding consumers could be misled by the phrase “Italy’s #1 brand of pasta” and believe its products are actually made in Italy.
That pasta is actually made at Barilla's plant in Ames, Iowa, and has been since 1998. The company recently completed a $65 million expansion of the pasta plant produces 200,000 metric tons of dry pasta there each year.
Back in June, Matthew Sinatro and Jessica Prost, filed the lawsuit claiming they purchased multiple boxes of Barilla spaghetti and angel hair pasta because they thought the products were made in Italy from authentic Italian ingredients.
They argue that the replication of the green, red and white colors of the Italian flag on its signature blue box indicates the pasta is imported, not made in America.
The judge agreed, saying that Sinatro and Prost have sufficiently shown they suffered an economic injury because they would not have purchased the pasta had they known it was not made in Italy.
Barilla does have Italian origns. It was founded in 1877 as a bakery shop in Parma, Italy by Pietro Barilla Sr.
The judge's ruling allows the case to move forward.