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On the front of the label of most Quaker Oats products, you will usually see the claim “100% Natural Whole Grain” along with the bold text “Old Fashioned.” Although this marketing ploy may have made people feel comfortable with the ingredients in Quaker Oats products in the past, a recent lawsuit has now canceled out any good press they may have had using this misleading tactic.

Pesticide Glyphosate Found In Quaker Oats

quaker oats

Consumers have filed a lawsuit in New York and California against the owner of Quaker Oats, alleging that their oatmeal contains traces of the pesticide glyphosate.

The lawsuit was filed after the plaintiffs had a test conducted to analyze the contents of Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute oatmeal. The test was conducted in an independent lab in California which used liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, a technique commonly used in chemical and medical labs for drug research.

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The results of the test found traces of glyphosate in the sample that was used, and although the amount that was detected was technically under the allowable legal limits, the lawsuit accused Quaker of “false advertising” due to the claim that their products are “100% Natural.”

A statement released by the Quaker Oats Company claimed that they did not add the chemical glyphosate into their oatmeal and that it was likely the result of residue left by pesticides sprayed on the oats by farmers.

“Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are trace amounts and significantly below any limits which have been set by the E.P.A. as safe for human consumption,” the company said.

Glyphosate Uses And Health Risks

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Glyphosate is the active ingredient in many different types of pesticides, including Roundup, which is sprayed on crops worldwide. Food activists have condemned the use of glyphosate for years, citing a variety of health risks.

Although the popular pesticide Roundup was developed in 1974 and has been commonly used since then, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (part of the World Health Organization) just recently classified glyphosate as a “probable” cause of cancer in 2015.

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Aside from cancer, glyphosate is known to cause a variety of other long-term health conditions.

Researchers have found a strong correlation between Roundup exposure and Attention Deficit Disorder in farming communities, which many experts attribute to glyphosates’ ability to disrupt thyroid hormone functions. Glyphosate has also been shown to have adverse effects on the body’s production of serotonin. This can severely affect someone’s mood, appetite, and sleep, and serotonin impairment has frequently been linked to depression.

Glyphosate is also known to cause birth defects. One study from Paraguay found that the babies of women living within one kilometer of areas where glyphosate is sprayed were more than twice as likely to have birth defects. Scientists attribute this to glyphosates’ ability to overstimulate the vitamin-A signaling pathway, which is crucial for fetal development.

Oats generally require less herbicide and pesticide than many other types of grains, making it very surprising (and disappointing) to find trace amounts of it in Quaker Oat’s products.  Next time you’re craving a bowl of oatmeal, opt for organically grown oats rather than the quick, cheap, pesticide-filled variety.

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