Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

Organic Consumers Sues Maker of Shredded Wheat Cereal for False ‘Natural’ Claims

Testing Reveals Post Cereal Contains Monsanto’s Glyphosate
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2016

CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association: Katherine Paul, katherine@organicconsumers.org, 207.653.3090; Kim Richman, krichman@richmanlawgroup.com, 212-687-82911

FINLAND, Minn. –  The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today filed suit against Post Holdings, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, Post Foods, LLC, for falsely claiming one of its brands, Shredded Wheat, is “natural” even though it tests positive for the herbicide glyphosate.

The suit, filed on behalf of the general public of Washington, D.C., claims Post is violating the District of Columbia Consumer Protection Procedures Act (“DC CPPA”), D.C. Code § 28-3901, et seq. Similar actions were filed in federal court in California and New York.

“On the back of its cereal box, Post says Shredded Wheat is made of ‘100% Whole Grain Wheat’ and that the product is ‘made with nothing but goodness,’” said OCA’s international director, Ronnie Cummins. “But tests prove Shredded Wheat contains glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Glyphosate is not only very unnatural, it is a known toxin, linked to a long list of potential and serious health problems.”

Kim Richman of The Richman Law Group, which represents OCA in the suit, noted that “Consumers don’t expect a product labeled ‘natural’ to contain a chemical that has been classified by the World Health Organization as a ‘probable’ human carcinogen. Post advertises Shredded Wheat as ‘100 Percent Natural,’ and glyphosate in any amount is not natural,” Richman said.

Shredded Wheat samples were tested by an independent lab in California, using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, a commonly used technique in medical and chemical labs. The testing found glyphosate at a level of 0.18 parts per million in the sample, a level below that which is allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in cereal grains. 

"Even at low levels, including levels below those approved by regulatory agencies, studies show that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor,” Richman said.

Endocrine disruption may result in cancer, reproductive and developmental problems, and birth defects. These effects are thought to result from very low doses over a long period of exposure or from exposures in critical windows of development, such as fetal development.

According to a 2014 Consumer Reports® survey, 66 percent of respondents said that a “natural” label on packaged and processed foods means that “no toxic pesticides were used.”

Read the full complaint

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/ 

The Richman Law Group is dedicated to using the class action tool in a creative manner, bringing about meaningful change. The law firm also handles numerous federal civil rights claims, representing clients both individually and on a class-wide basis. Visit: http://richmanlawgroup.com/

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