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Judge Tosses Lawsuit Over Whether Nature Valley Granola Bars Are 'Natural' Enough

The latest legal fight over exactly what goes into General Mills Inc.'s Nature Valley granola bars is over, with a federal judge dismissing a class-action lawsuit against the company.

Food industry website Food Dive reports on the dismissal of the case, which centered around claims by Golden Valley-based General Mills (NYSE: GIS) that its granola bars were made with "100% natural whole grain oats."

Consumer groups Organic Consumers Association, Moms Across America and Beyond Pesticides took aim on that claim, arguing in a lawsuit last summer that traces of herbicide were detected on the bars, so they couldn't be totally 100 percent natural.

Federal Juge Michael Davis didn't agree, noting in his order last week that the amounts of herbicides found were allowable even for certified organic foods, and besides, the "100 percent" claim only applies to the oats, not the entire bar. "Even if the glyphosate traces are present on the oats, there is no allegation that the oats, themselves, are not natural," he wrote.