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General Mills Sued for Misleading Use of ‘Natural’

by Juliana Lytkowski

Nature Valley products tested for toxic herbicide Glyphosate.

Earlier this week, three non-profit organizations filed a lawsuit against General Mills for falsely labeling Nature Valley granola bars as “Made with 100% NATURAL whole grain OATS.”

The lawsuit alleges that, when marketing Nature Valley products, General Mills misleads and fails to disclose to consumers of the use and presence of glyphosate and its harmful effects. Plaintiffs are asking a jury to find that General Mills’ “natural” labeling is deceptive and misleading and therefore a violation of law, and require its removal from the market.

A study published in 2015 in the journal of Environmental Health found that low-dose exposure to glyphosate can lead to adverse effects on liver and kidney healthy. Later, in 2016 a study revealed that it cause changes to DNA function, leading to onset of chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s.

Glyphosate is used in the production of oats for the Nature Valley Granola products, which is the ingredient labeled as ‘natural.’

“Glyphosate cannot be considered ‘natural’ because it is a toxic, synthetic herbicide,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “Identified by the World Health Organization(WHO) as a carcinogen, it should not be allowed for use in food production, and certainly not in food with a label that suggests to consumers that the major ingredient –oats– is 100% natural, when it is produced with and contains the highly hazardous glyphosate,” he said.

“As a mother, when I read “100% Natural” I would expect that to mean no synthetic or toxic chemicals at all. Glyphosate is a toxic chemical that the EPA recognizes as a “reproductive effector” which “can cause liver and kidney damage” and “digestive effects.” It is unacceptable that Nature Valley granola bars contain any amount of this chemical.” Zen Honeycutt, Founder and Executive Director of Moms Across America.

Moms Across America, Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association with The Richman Law Group under the Consumer Protection Procedures Act have filed the lawsuit.

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