Kellogg’s named in class action lawsuit over glyphosate residue breakfast products

The class action lawsuit concerns Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars – Strawberry; and Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal.

As alleged, in marketing the Products, Kellogg’s appeals to the consuming public’s ever-growing health consciousness and increasing appetite for nutritious, wholesome foods that will benefit their health and avoidance of highly-processed foods with non-healthy attributes such as GMOs, artificial additives, gluten, added sugars, and hydrogenated oils.

Kellogg’s makes several detailed representations about the health attributes of the Products on the front of the Product packages which lead reasonable consumers to believe the Products will foster their “good health” and not pose a safety risk to or potentially harm their health. According to the complaint, however, recent testing by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, revealed that Defendant’s Products contain glyphosate. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used weed killing poisons in the United States. It is also sprayed on wheat, barley, and oats as a preharvest desiccant to dry the grain faster. Each year, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on American crops, including wheat, barley, and oats just before they are harvested. Glyphosate adheres to the crops and Defendant’s cleansing process fails to remove the glyphosate residue.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has determined that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic to humans. Because it is a probable carcinogen with no nutritional value, the presence of any amount of glyphosate in the Products, no matter whether above or below regulatory limits, is material to reasonable consumers. No reasonable consumer would purchase the Products knowing that they contained glyphosate. This is particularly true given that there are numerous comparable products without glyphosate.

By failing to disclose that the Products contain or likely contain glyphosate and glyphosate is a probable carcinogen and continuing to sell the Products in packages omitting this information, Defendant has and continues to deceive and mislead consumers, including Plaintiff.

COMPLAINT

General Mills named in class action lawsuit over labeling its Nature Valley products as natural despite containing the chemical glyphosate

general-mills-logo

According to the complaint, Defendant General Mills aggressively advertises and promotes its Nature Valley products (as defined below) as “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” These claims are false, misleading, and deceptive. The products at issue are not made with “100% natural whole grain oats,” but instead oats containing the chemical glyphosate, a potent biocide, probable human carcinogen, and human endocrine disruptor, with detrimental health effects that are still becoming known.

Although the exact source of glyphosate in these oat products is known only to General Mills and its suppliers,1 glyphosate most likely makes its way into the products when the oat crops are sprayed with the chemical in order to dry them out and produce an earlier, more uniform harvest—a practice with no health benefits, meant only to increase yield and, therefore, profit.

Plaintiff brings this deceptive advertising case on behalf of a class of consumers who purchased Nature Valley products in New York, and seeks relief including refunds to purchasers for the falsely advertised products and a court-ordered corrective advertising campaign to inform the public of the true nature of General Mills’ glyphosate-contaminated products.

The products include the following:

  1. Crunchy granola bars (Oats ‘n Honey, Peanut Butter, Maple Brown Sugar, Vanilla Almond Nut & Seed, Coconut, Pecan, and other varieties);
  2. Trail Mix chewy granola bars (Fruit & Nut, Dark Chocolate & nut, and other varieties);
  3. Sweet & Salty Nut granola bars (Peanut, Almond, and other varieties);
  4. Breakfast Biscuits (Honey, Blueberry, Lemon Poppy Seed, and other varieties);
  5. Biscuits (with Almond Butter, with Peanut Butter, and other varieties);
  6. Oatmeal Squares (Blueberry, Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, Banana Bread & Dark Chocolate, and other varieties);
  7. Oatmeal Bars (Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Brown Sugar, and other varieties); and
  8. Oatmeal Bistro Cups (Brown Sugar Pecan, Apple Cinnamon Almond, and other varieties) (collectively, “Nature Valley” or the “Products”).

Complaint

General Mills named in class action lawsuit over Nature Valley products claiming to be made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats” despite containing glyphosate, a potent biocide and human endocrine disruptor

Nature Valley

This is a proposed consumer protection class action against General Mills for injunction relief and economic damages based on misrepresentations and omissions committed by General Mills regarding Nature Valley, which General Mills falsely and deceptively labels and markets as “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” In fact, the products contain glyphosate, a potent and unnatural biocide.

Defendant aggressively advertises and promotes its Nature Valley products (as defined below) as “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats” (see Product Image, infra.). These claims are false, misleading, and deceptive. The products at issue do not comprise “100% natural whole grain oats,” but instead contain the chemical glyphosate, a potent biocide and human endocrine disruptor, with detrimental health effects that are still becoming known.

Although the exact source of glyphosate in these oat products is known only to General Mills and its suppliers, glyphosate most likely makes its way into the products when  the oat crops are sprayed with the chemical in order to dry them out and produce an earlier, more uniform harvest—a practice with no health benefits, meant only to increase yield and, therefore, profit

Plaintiff brings this deceptive advertising case on behalf of a class of California consumers who purchased the oat products, and seek relief including refunds to purchasers for the falsely advertised products and a court-ordered corrective advertising campaign to inform the public of the true nature of General Mills’ glyphosate-contaminated products.

COMPLAINT