SAN FRANCISCO, May 4 (UPI) — Quaker Oats’ “100% Natural” claim is being challenged in a class-action lawsuit.
The lawsuit, which was filed in California and New York on behalf of their states’ consumers Friday, alleges that Quaker Oats’ marketing statements are false and misleading.
“There is nothing unlawful about Quaker Oats’ growing and processing methods,” the suit says. “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 pesticide glyphosate was found in some oatmeal samples after an independent test paid for by the plaintiff’s lawyers with Richman Law Group — 1.18 parts per million in a sample of Quick 1-Minute. This level is 4 percent of the 30 parts per million allowed by the Environmental Protection Agency. Old-Fashioned and Steel Cut Oats were not sampled but the suit says those products also are not all natural.
Quaker Oats, which is owned by PepsiCo, says it did not add the pesticide during the milling process and that farmers used it occasionally before harvest.
Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration said it would begin testing the pesticide, which is produced by Monsanto Company. It was sold starting in the 1970s.
Last year, the World Health Organization classified it as a “probable” carcinogen.
The suit seeks relief including refunds to purchasers of the products and a court-ordered corrective advertising campaign.
Kim Richman, the lead lawyer in the suit filed on behalf of Danielle S. Cooper, said it will be filed in other states this week.