Quaker is being sued for a cancer-causing pesticide in oats by customers in California and New York. The allegation is that the oatmeal may contain traces of a well known carcinogen glyphosate.
In March of last year, glyphosate was finally labeled as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Glyphosate is believed to be very present in foods such as genetically modified corn and soy. According to Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., of Washington State University, in 2014 U.S. farmers used the equivalent of three-quarters a pound of glyphosate per acre of farmland. “When a single pesticide is used that widely, people can’t help but be exposed to it,” Benbrook explains.
According to ConsumerReports.org, a small USDA study found “glyphosate residues on about 90 percent of 300 soybean samples.”
The lawsuit on Quaker was filed after an independent lab in California did a test to analyze the ingredients in Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute oatmeal. They found traces of glyphosate in some of Quaker’s products.
Although the amount of glyphosate was below the legal limit, the company was sued for false advertising because their products claim to be ‘100% Natural.’
Quaker states on its website that its products are grown responsibly. “Since oats require less herbicide spray than many other grains, there is less risk of pollutants and groundwater contamination,” it says.
The company said that the glyphosate did not come from their involvement with the product, and that it must have come from the farming stage.
“Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are trace amounts and significantly below any limits which have been set by the E.P.A. as safe for human consumption,” the company said.
Although oats are not a genetically engineered food, glyphosate is often used to dry out crops and speed up harvesting.
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1. “Quaker Oats’ 100% Natural Claim Questioned in Lawsuit.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 01 May 2016. Web. 30 Nov. 2016.