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Mislabeling Class Action Against Quaker Oats

May 03, 2016

Lawsuit challenges “100% Natural” marketing claim by Quaker Oats after tests show products contain the pesticide glyphosate

On April 29, 2016, Plaintiff Danielle S. Cooper filed a lawsuit against The Quaker Oats Company for deceptive labeling of its Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned, Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute, and Quaker Steel Cut Oats Sweet Almond Mint products. Quaker Oats markets these products as “100% Natural” and “Heart Healthy,” and claims that its oats are grown using “eco-friendly” methods. Plaintiff alleges these claims are false, deceptive, and misleading because Quaker Oats are not “100% Natural,” but instead contain the chemical glyphosate, a potent herbicide that last year was declared a probable human carcinogen by the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization. Glyphosate makes its way into Quaker Oats not simply because it is used as an agricultural weed killer, but because it is sprayed on the oats as a drying agent shortly before harvest.

Plaintiff, who filed her complaint in Federal District Court in California, is represented by Terrell Marshall Law Group, along with The Richman Law Group, Ram, Olson, Cereghino & Kopczynski LLP, Wexler Wallace LLP, and Bailey & Glasser LLP. Additional lawsuits have been filed in Federal District Courts in New York and Illinois, and in state court in Illinois.

With growing consumer demand for healthful, natural products and an increased awareness of the health risks and environmental damage posed by chemical-laden foods, consumers are increasingly drawn toward foods that are natural, whole, and chemical-free. The only ingredient listed on Quaker’s “100% Natural Whole Grain” Quaker Oats products is “100% Natural Whole-Grain Quaker Quality Rolled Oats.” The lawsuit alleges that no consumer reading those ingredients would expect Quaker Oats to contain anything unnatural, or anything other than whole, rolled oats, let alone a carcinogenic pesticide.

Plaintiff Cooper seeks class certification on behalf of all persons who are purchasers of Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned, Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute, and Quaker Steel Cut Oats Sweet Almond Mint. Plaintiff is seeking refunds for purchasers and is asking that Quaker Oats be required to engage in a corrective advertising campaign to inform the public of the presence of glyphosate in Quaker Oats.