Quaker Sued by Consumers for Not Flagging Glyphosate in Oatmeal

May 2, 2016 01:04 PM

Consumers in New York and California sued PepsiCo Inc.’s Quaker Oats for false advertising over claims that the brand’s signature product contains a possible carcinogen that is not listed as an ingredient.

In court documents, the consumers claim that the company’s oatmeal contains glyphosate, an herbicide the World Health Organization declared a probable carcinogen last year, although an Environmental Protection Agency committee disagreed. They say that oat farmers use the chemical as a weed killer and a drying agent that is sprayed before harvest. 

While the suit says there is nothing illegal about the company’s use of glyphosate, the consumers say the product’s “100 Percent Natural” promise and its label, which lists natural whole-grain rolled oats as the main ingredient, are misleading.

“Quaker knows that consumers seek out and wish to purchase whole, natural foods that do not contain chemicals, and that consumers will pay more for foods that they believe to be natural,” lawyers for the New York consumers wrote in a complaint. “By deceiving consumers about the nature, quality, and/or ingredients of its Quaker Oats, Quaker is able to sell a greater volume of Quaker Oats, to charge higher prices for Quaker Oats, and to take away market share from competing products.”

The consumers, whose suits in federal courts in New York and California see class-action status, are seeking damages and refunds. The company did not immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.

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Spell Check

S. Bend, IN
5/2/2016 03:55 PM

  How about going after all the big egg producers. There is not enough organic feed or non-gmo corn or soybeans grown to supply all the chickens laying eggs that claim to be in these supermarkets across this nation.

Pittsburg, PA
5/2/2016 11:21 PM

  this is unbelievable. Some people just want to make profit off these companies. Since the company will have to pay for that lawsuit to those SOME PEOPLE, the companies are going to make products expensive for everyone. So who hurts the most - All of us except those SOME PEOPLE. Please think through before suing the companies. There are many other things that get sprayed and USED (I BET THEY ARE MORE DANGEROUS THAN GLYPHOSATE) in crops other than glyphosate that never get mentioned on the label. No one talks about that.

East, IA
5/3/2016 12:32 PM

  40 years ago I started using Glyphosate and was told it disappeared when it hit the soil. Now we find out its in the whole food chain, water, right down to breast milk. I feel duped that I was lied to for the profit of a company, not at the consumer who's upset. This has the stench of the cigarette industry.