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article imageNature Valley granola bars have 'deceptive' labeling says lawsuit

By Karen Graham     Aug 27, 2016 in Food
Deciding what constitutes a "100 percent natural" product is a matter of debate, and that debate is taking General Mills to court. Four lawsuits argue that the 100 percent natural claim on the company's granola is misleading and deceptive.
The four lawsuits include a trio of federal class action cases in District Courts in New York, California, and Minnesota, as well as a civil case brought in a Washington D.C. Superior Court on behalf of three non-profit organizations. All the lawsuits are being handled by attorneys with The Richman Group out of Brooklyn, New York.
Three of the lawsuits were filed against General Mills' granola bar company, Nature Valley, Fox News reports. The snack bars are currently labeled as being "100% natural whole grain oats." But just one of the lawsuit's contends the bars actually contain a small amount of the pesticide, glyphosate.
As far as the glyphosate debate goes, suffice to say that the after the U.N. decided the pesticide was "probably" carcinogenic in 2015, they did a complete turnaround in May of 2016, saying it “is unlikely to be genotoxic at anticipated dietary exposures.” And while the amounts of glyphosate residues found in the granola bars are below the EPA's recommended 30 PPM maximum, the one lawsuit contends the amount is still higher than should be allowed when calling the bars "100% natural."
Interestingly, the other lawsuits are more elementary in their basic premise. The Consumerist reports they contend that if a synthetic pesticide, glyphosate is used to grow the oats in the "100% natural granola bars," then the labeling is misleading. According to the D.C. lawsuit, “By deceiving consumers about the nature, quality, and/or ingredients of its Nature Valley products, General Mills is able to sell a greater volume of the Products, to charge higher prices for the Products, and to take away market share from competing products, thereby increasing its own sales and profits."
The lawsuits want quite a bit from General Mills. They are seeking unspecified damages for customers who bought the Nature Valley granola bars thinking they were getting a 100 percent natural product.
They also want General Mills to recall the mislabeled products. But the biggest demand is for General Mills to produce a “corrective advertising campaign to inform the public concerning the true nature of the Products.”
In a statement to the Consumerist, General Mills says it has done nothing wrong. “We stand behind our products and the accuracy of our labels,” says the company.
More about General mills, nature valley, granola bars, Glyphosate, Lawsuit
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