A class action lawsuit has been filed in California against General Mills, the makers of Nature Valley granola bars and other oat products that plaintiffs contend are tainted with glyphosate, a synthetic herbicide.
The plaintiffs base their claims in part on a 2015 report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization, that placed glyphosate in Group 2A on its list of chemicals that may cause cancer. A Group 2A listing means that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The report said that glyphosate caused cancer in lab test animals and was also found to cause damage to DNA in human cells.
The complaint assets that General Mills continues to use the herbicide on its oat fields even though the company knows “no reasonable health conscious consumer would knowingly and voluntarily ingest glyphosate given its reported health risks.” The suit contends that General Mills continues to market its oat products to consumers as “100% natural whole grain oats,” which plaintiffs claim is false and deceptive labeling.
The suit highlights the General Mills products that include glyphosate, including Nature Valley crunchy granola bars, trail mix chewy granola bars, sweet and salty nut granola bars, breakfast biscuits, biscuits, oatmeal squares, oatmeal bars, and oatmeal bistro chips.
The plaintiffs are seeking to represent a class of all consumers who purchased these Nature Valley products from a retail location in the U.S. The suit requests refunds and unspecified damages from General Mills, plus an injunction to keep them from continuing the alleged deceptive practices.
A similar class action suit has also been filed in New York alleging that General Mills’ advertising for Nature Valley products is misleading and deceptive because those products contain glyphosate.
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