A common food that mothers across America are giving to their children today is poisoned. This product is likely in the reader’s pantry and is still on grocery store shelves. Thursday, non profit organizations filed a lawsuit in Washington DC against General Mills for misleading the public by labeling their Nature Valley granola bars, “Made with 100% NATURAL whole grain OATS” when the product is poisoned. Test results proved the bars are contaminated with the herbicide chemical glyphosate, Monsanto’s Roundup ingredient, along with hundreds of other glyphosate-based herbicides. These are all in those Nature Valley granola bars on the store shelves and in your pantry right now because you expect them to be natural and toxin-free.
Moms Across America, Beyond Pesticides and Organic Consumers Association with The Richman Law Group filed jointly on behalf of the non profit members in Washington DC under the District of Columbia’s Consumer Protection Procedures Act.
‘What Have I Done to My Children, And What Has Been Done To Them Without My Consent?’
“As a mother, when I read “100% Natural” I would expect that to mean no synthetic or toxic chemicals at all. Glyphosate is a toxic chemical that the EPA recognizes as a “reproductive effector” which “can cause liver and kidney damage” and “digestive effects.” It is unacceptable that Nature Valley granola bars contain any amount of this chemical,” said Zen Honeycutt, Founder and Executive Director of Moms Across America.
A national survey conducted by Consumer Reports in 2015 found sixty six percent of consumers seek products with a “natural” food label under the false belief that the products are produced without pesticides, genetically modified organisms, hormones and artificial ingredients.
“Glyphosate cannot be considered ‘natural’ because it is a toxic, synthetic herbicide,” said Jay Feldman, executive director of Beyond Pesticides. “Identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a carcinogen, it should not be allowed for use in food production, and certainly not in food with a label that suggests to consumers that the major ingredient –oats– is 100% natural, when it is produced with and contains the highly hazardous glyphosate,” he said.
“Food grown with dangerous pesticides like glyphosate isn’t natural. Consumers understand this. That’s why sales of natural products are booming. Unfortunately, companies’ misleading claims trick consumers into buying just what they’re trying to avoid. This has to be stopped.” -Alexis Baden-Mayer, Political Director of the Organic Consumers Association
The case specifically cites the use and presence of the weed-killer glyphosate in General Mills’ Nature Valley Granola products. The hazardous chemical is used during the production of oats, the major ingredient in these products, which are marketed as “natural” and labeled “Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats.” As a result, glyphosate is present in the natural-labeled products.
Proponents of glyphosate herbicide might claim that residue levels in many foods and beverages in America recently are below the EPA allowable levels established in 2014, and therefore consumers have no reason for concern. A 2015 study published in the Environmental Health journal, however, finds that chronic, low-dose exposure to glyphosate as low as .1 parts per billion leads to adverse effects on liver and kidney health. A study released in early 2016 finds that glyphosate can cause changes to DNA function resulting in the onset of chronic disease, including diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. The herbicide bio-accumulates in the human body. There is no “safe” amount of poison.
The lawsuit alleges that in Nature Valley products marketing, General Mills misleads and fails to disclose the use and presence of glyphosate and its harmful effects. Plaintiffs are asking a jury to find General Mills’ “natural” labeling deceptive and misleading; therefore a violation of law; and required removal from the market.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Visit: https://www.organicconsumers.org/
Photo Credit: Pet and People Health
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