August 28, 2014

Quaker Oats Motion to Dismiss Trans Fat Lawsuit Rejected

A U.S. district court in Illinois has rejected a motion in a lawsuit brought against Quaker Oats. The deceptive advertising case has been brought by a private consumer over label claims on Quaker’s Instant Oatmeal, Chewy Granola, and Oatmeal To Go products.

All of those products bear the claims “heart healthy” and “wholesome”, when they contain trans fats not declared on the label. This speaks directly to the issue Food Poisoning Bulletin has reported on before: that companies are allowed to claim “zero trans fat” as long as the product has less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.

However, Daniel Askin, the consumer who brought the lawsuit, claims that Quaker’s Granola Bars contain 5.0 grams of trans fat, far more than the label requirement limit.

The lawsuit targets the trans fat content in the company’s products and claims made on the labels. Quaker Oats tried to dismiss the lawsuit under the “first to file” rule, since “mirror image” lawsuit are going on in California.

The judge disagreed, saying that he would simply stay proceedings until the California cases were complete. The four cases in California are being tried in one action; Quaker Oats has also filed a motion to dismiss in that state.

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