Post Holding’s Sued for False “Natural” Claims

Post Holdings, Inc., and its subsidiary, Post Foods, LLC, are being sued by three separate plaintiffs for labeling, marketing and selling Shredded Wheat as “natural” despite testing positive for the herbicide glyphosate.

The lawsuits were filed on June 22 by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, by Andy Wu in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and by Robert Stephenson in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of 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 Ronnie Cummins, OCA’s international director in a press release. “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.”

Though testing by an independent lab in California found Shredded Wheat to contain 0.18 parts per million of glyphosate, which is a level below what is allowed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Kim Richman, of The Richman Law Group, which represents OCA in the suit notes that “even at low levels, including levels below those approved by regulatory agencies, studies show that glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor.”

In the suit, the OCA also points out a 2014 Consumer Report Study, where “sixty-six percent of all respondents said that a natural representation on packaged and processed foods means that no toxic pesticides were used.” One consumer who believed in this same statement was Wu.

In Wu’s complaint, he states he paid more for Shredded Wheat thinking it was natural and free of chemicals. In addition, Wu claims that Post uses glyphosate intentionally but not as an agricultural weed killer, but “as a drying agent (to increase crop yield and thereby to increase profit) shortly before harvest.”

According to Stephenson’s complaint, “there is nothing unlawful about Shredded Wheat’s growing and processing methods.” What Stephenson stated to be unlawful is how “Post’s claim that Shredded Wheat is something that it is not in order to capitalize on growing consumer demand for healthful, natural products.”

The suit comes on the heels of the FDA asking the public for help in defining the term for “natural.”

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online 7/11/2016