A federal judge has dismissed a class-action lawsuit against General Mills over the company’s use of “natural” to describe the oats in its Nature Valley granola bars.
The group of citizens who filed the lawsuit [August 2016] argued General Mills misled the public by claiming the bars were “Made With 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” The plaintiffs said a third-party laboratory detected 0.45 parts per million of glyphosate in the bars and believe the oats are “most likely the source” of the commonly used herbicide.
But Judge Michael J. Davis of U.S. District Court of Minnesota said the plaintiffs’ particular claims made in the case “are simply not plausible.” Davis said the plaintiffs’ argument holds the Nature Valley bars to more stringent standards than the federal government holds organic products. Foods labeled as organic are allowed to contain chemical pesticide residue of less than 5 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s tolerance level.
In his ruling … Davis added that “even if the glyphosate traces are present on the oats, there is no allegation that the oats, themselves, are not natural. The packaging does not state that the product, as a whole, is ‘100% Natural.'”
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