'100% Natural' Quaker Oats? Not Quite, Says Lawsuit

Suit contends oats can't be labeled 'natural' with even trace levels of herbicide
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2016 7:01 AM CDT
'100% Natural' Quaker Oats? Not Quite, Says Lawsuit
The lawsuit does not question Quaker Oats' growing methods, but rather its advertising.   (PRNewsFoto/The Quaker Oats Company)

The nearly 140-year-old Quaker Oats brand isn't as wholesome as its name might imply, according to a lawsuit seeking class-action status after trace amounts of the active ingredient in Roundup were found in some oats, which are advertised as being "100% natural," reports the New York Times. Glyphosate, developed by Monsanto in the 1970s, has recently been on the radar since the World Health Organization announced last year that it "probably" causes cancer, while the Food and Drug Administration announced earlier this year that it will begin testing some foods for it. Eater reports that it's been found in more than a dozen popular German beers.

"Quaker does not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process," parent company PepsiCo said in a statement to Fortune, which notes that several brands, including Honest Co. and Welch's Fruit Snacks, have recently faced similar litigation. "Glyphosate is commonly used by farmers across the industry who apply it pre-harvest." But the lawsuit specifically calls out false advertising, not growing problems. "There is nothing unlawful about Quaker Oats' growing and processing methods," it reads. "What is unlawful is Quaker's claim that Quaker Oats is something that it is not in order to capitalize on growing consumer demand for healthful, natural products." The lead attorney says the suit was filed in New York and California over the weekend and will be filed in other states this week. (Results are mixed on whether the herbicide is an issue in breast milk.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.