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Quaker Oats Hit With Lawsuit After Pesticides Found in '100% Natural' Oatmeal

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The plaintiffs are claiming false advertising

Darren McCollester/Getty Images

A lawsuit filed against Quaker Oats calls into question the company's claims that its product is 100 percent natural. The New York Times reports a class-action lawsuit has been filed against the company in New York and California "after testing found traces of the pesticide glyphosate in some oatmeal."

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in weed-killer Roundup but according to the Times, the amount found in Quaker oats fall far below potentially harmful levels. The real issue, according to this lawsuit at least, is that the product is marketed as "100 percent natural" and therefore is being falsely advertised.

According to the Times, the lawsuit will be filed in additional states this week. The plaintiffs are seeking refunds and asking that PepsiCo (Quaker's parent company) "either be required to reformulate the products or disclose the presence of glyphosate in them."

Glyphosate has also been found in more than dozen popular German beers. Earlier this year, the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would begin cracking down on the use of glyphosate; the World Health Organization has concluded the herbicide "probably" causes cancer, in part based on a 1985 study on mice. But Monsanto, the company behind Roundup, disputes that research, writing on its website that "glyphosate is not a carcinogen."

This isn't the first time Quaker has found itself in hot water over claims of false labeling. In 2014, the company settled a class action case regarding trans fat content; as part of that settlement, Quaker agreed to remove trans fats from its Oatmeal to Go and Instant Quaker Oatmeal products.

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