In a sea of unhealthy breakfast foods like toaster strudel and sugary cereal, oatmeal really stands out as a healthy and quick morning alternative.
Not only is oatmeal rich in vitamin B, folic acid, selenium, and manganese, the food helps lower bad cholesterol and regulates blood sugar.
Unfortunately, packaged oatmeal isn’t as healthy as it’s advertised to be.
Lewis Daly, a resident of Brooklyn, New York, has gained media attention for filling a lawsuit against Quaker Oats, the company behind “Quick 1-Minute” oats.
Quaker Oats is known for labelling its products as “healthy” and “all-natural”.
Skeptical of these claims, Daly issued independent tests to determine whether or not the product contained glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsato’s popular herbicide “Round-Up”.
Glyphosate is recognized by the World Health Organization as a “probable human carcinogen” known to cause kidney and liver damage, as well as cellular and genetic diseases (1).
The use of glyphosate in agriculture has increased by over 250 times since the product first came out in the 1970s. Although it’s not widely applied to grow oats, the chemical is used to dry out crops to speed up the harvesting process.
The Environmental Protection Agency requires agricultural products to stay bellow 30 parts per million, the oats tested only contained 1.18 ppm, but Daly’s case isn’t about quantity; it’s about false promises.
Daly’s lawyer argues: “[the] Defendant aggressively advertises and promotes its oatmeal products as ‘100% Natural,’ and claims its oats are grown using ‘eco-friendly’ methods that pose ‘less risk of pollutants and groundwater pollution,’” “These claims are false, deceptive, and misleading.” (2).
The class-action lawsuit states: “There is nothing unlawful about Quaker Oats’ growing and processing methods…What is unlawful is Quaker’s claim that Quaker Oats is something that it is not in order to capitalize on growing consumer demand for healthful, natural products.”
In retaliation, the company argues that the chemical isn’t used in the milling process and that substantial traces of it is washed away as the oats are cleaned and processed: “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,” (3).
The suit, which only applies in New York and California but hope to spread in other states in the upcoming weeks also targets other products made by the PepsiCo, including “Quaker Oats Old-Fashioned” and “Quaker Steel Cut Oats”.
Daly and his team don’t want to take down Quaker Oats, they simply want refunds for purchasers and either a change in the product formula or more transparency in future labeling.
This is only one of many cases where big companies are finally being held accountable for falsely “green-washing” their products to fit the new standards for food quality and health concerns.
It remains to be said that the only way to ensure that you minimize your exposure to glyphosate and other harmful chemicals is to purchase organic produce or grown your own using organic soil and seeds.