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Business Insider

Quaker Oats sued in the US for trace amounts of pesticide

Levels detected are safe, but consumers argue they go against the company's 'all-natural' claims

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 May, 2016, 8:10pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 May, 2016, 12:11pm

A lawsuit filed against The Quaker Oats Company argues that the self-proclaimed 100% natural contains some ingredients you might find troubling.

Testing of Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute reportedly found traces of the pesticide glyphosate, a lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers in New York and California alleges.

The level of the pesticide, which is commonly found in Roundup, is well below federal regulators' limit for human consumption. However, the lawsuit argues that the use of glyphosate goes against the all-natural claims of Quaker Oats, which is owned by PepsiCo.

"There is nothing unlawful about Quaker Oats' growing and processing methods," reads the lawsuit. "What is unlawful is Quakers’ claim that Quaker Oats is something that it is not in order to capitalize on growing consumer demand for healthful, natural products."

The US Environmental Protection Agency allows for levels 30 parts per million of glyphosate in cereal grains. Quaker Oats was found to contain just 1.18 parts per million — 4 per cent of the legal limit. 

Last year, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a "probable" carcinogen, resulting in renewed focus on potential health risks of the chemical in food. 

Quaker Oats did not immediately respond to request for comment.

In a statement, the company said "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."