Quaker Oats has been slapped with a consumer class action lawsuit alleging the company falsely advertises its products are “non-GMO” when in fact they are not.
Plaintiff Morgan Steckler of Los Angeles filed the Quaker Oats class action lawsuit claiming he relied on Quaker Oats representations that its products do not contain GMO ingredients. However, he says he was surprised to learn that the Quaker Old Fashioned Oats and Quaker Steel Cut Oats he purchased for he and his wife at Costco and Smart and Final contained glyphosate – a probably carcinogen.
Many consumers like Steckler make their purchasing decisions based on the product labeling. Words such as “Whole Grain”, “Non GMO Verified”, “can help reduce cholesterol”, and “may help reduce the risk of heart disease” featured prominently on product labels appeal to consumers’ ever-growing health consciousness and increasing appetite for nutritious, wholesome foods that are not highly processed and do not include GMOs, artificial additives, gluten, added sugars, and hydrogenated oils.
But Steckler claims that Quaker Oats is taking advantage of consumers’ desire for healthier foods and falsely labels their products to appeal to a health-conscious public.
Specifically, the class action lawsuit concerns 17 Quaker Oats brand products:
- Quaker Dinosaur Eggs – Brown Sugar Instant Oatmeal
- Quaker Steel Cut Oats
- Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
- Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Cinnamon & Spice
- Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Apples & Cinnamon
- Quaker Real Medleys Super Grains Banana Walnut
- Quaker Overnight Oats, Raisin, Walnut & Honey Heaven
- Quaker Overnight Oats Unsweetened with Chia Seeds
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Brown Sugar
- Quaker Oatmeal Squares, Honey Nut
- Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey & Almonds
- Quaker Breakfast Flats Crispy Snack Bars, Cranberry Almond
- Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip
- Quaker Chewy S’mores
- Quaker Breakfast Squares Soft Baked Bars, Peanut Butter
- Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip
However, recent testing by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, revealed that Quaker Oats products in fact contain glyphosate, with Quaker Old Fashioned Oats having the highest levels of the 45 products tested. Glyphosate is one of the most widely used weed killing poisons in the United States. According to the EWG, 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 Quaker Oats cleansing process fails to remove the glyphosate residue.
“By only identifying the health attributes of the Products and failing to disclose that the Products contain or likely contain glyphosate and glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, Defendants actively concealed this information from Plaintiff, Class members, and the general public,” the Quaker Oats class action lawsuit states.
Steckler says he would not have purchased the Quaker Oats products had he known they contained a purported cancer-causing ingredient with no nutritional value. In filing this complaint, Steckler is hoping to make Quaker Oats stop its alleged misleading and deceptive advertising.
He is seeking to represent a certified Class of consumers in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Washington who purchased Quaker Oats products.
Quaker Oats is among the slew of companies accused of misleading consumers about the true nature of their product ingredients. In July, Nestle was hit with a class action lawsuit alleging that it deceptively labels its products as Non-GMO. And, both Simply Potatoes and Rachael Ray’s Nutrish Dog Food lawsuit were recently accused of concealing the true nature of their ingredients.
Steckler is represented by Patricia N. Syverson, Manfred P. Muecke, Elaine A. Ryan, and Carrie A. Laliberte of Bonnett Fairbourn Friedman & Balint PC.
The Quaker Oats Class Action Lawsuit is Steckler et al. v. PepsiCo Inc. and The Quaker Oats Company Inc., Case No. 18-cv-9211, in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.