California resident Mason Kein is leading a group of angry consumers in a proposed class action lawsuit against Kellogg Co. for selling breakfast foods without revealing that they contain a possible cancer-causing chemical.
Kein told the Southern District of California that testing by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group revealed that Kellogg Co.’s strawberry Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars and Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal contain the herbicide glyphosate, a chemical deemed a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).
Glyphosate is the same chemical found in Monsanto’s Roundup, the controversial weed killer that was the center of a landmark trial in August during which a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding regular use of Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicides contributed to his terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. The award was later reduced to $78 million, but the significance of the case was not lost.
Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer AG in June, faces abut 9,500 similar lawsuits alleging glyphosate exposure through use of Roundup caused plaintiffs to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Kein’s proposed class action asserts that “because it is a probable carcinogen with no nutritional value, the presence of any amount of glyphosate in the products, no matter whether above or below regulatory limits, is material to reasonable consumers. No reasonable consumer would purchase the products knowing that they contained glyphosate.”
The lawsuit claims that Kellogg has to be aware that its products contain the herbicide, yet “nowhere on the product packages – inside or out – does defendant disclose that the products contain or likely contain glyphosate, such that defendant’s product health representations are false, deceptive or, at a minimum, misleading half-truths,” the lawsuit states.
The class includes consumers who purchased Kellogg Co.’s strawberry Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars and Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal in California, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and Washington.