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Natural foods maker settles over charge of pesticide in oats

Natural foods maker settles over charge of pesticide in oats

A natural foods company charged with having pesticide-contaminated weed killer in its oats has reached settlement of putative class action litigation.

Terms of the settlement in Tamara Frankel et al. v. Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods Inc., which were reported in a filing Thursday by the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, were not disclosed.

The August 2018 complaint charged that although package information stresses the healthy attributes of the company’s steel coat oats and “old-fashioned” rolled oats, a study has indicated the products contain glyphosate, a carcinogen that is “one of the most widely-used herbicides in the United States.”

It said this information was not included on its packages, nor could the company guarantee its products do not contain glyphosate, “given its wide use as a pesticide.”

The Milwaukie, Oregon-based company said in a court filing that the governing statute, the Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, “makes clear there is no such labeling requirement.”

It said also the alleged “safety risk” the complaint contends is created by nondisclosure of glyphosate “is entirely speculative and falls well short of the concrete allegation of harm required” for standing to file suit.



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