Natural Products Insider

SEP-OCT 2017

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In the News Is General MillsÕ claim ÒMade with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats" false and misleading if its granola bars and other Nature Valley products contain trace amounts of glyphosate, the popular herbicide whose potential harm has been the subject of international discourse? The answer is no, determined a judge who examined what a "reasonable consumer" would believe or expect in purchasing foods with the above claim. According to an independent laboratory, Nature Valley products contained 0.45 parts per million (ppm) of glyphosate. In dismissing a lawsuit against General Mills, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis noted glyphosate detected in the foods was "far below the amount permitted for organic products" under federal regulations. "The court concludes that plaintiffs have failed to plausibly allege that the statement 'Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats' means, or could be interpreted by a reasonable consumer to mean, that there is no trace glyphosate in Nature Valley products," Davis wrote in his July 12 order. "It is implausible that a reasonable consumer would believe that a product labelled as having one ingredient—oats—that is '100% Natural' could not contain a trace amount of glyphosate that is far below the amount permitted for organic products." The judge also dismissed a claim for breach of express warranty because he noted "General Mills did not warrant that Nature Valley products would be free from trace glyphosate." "The product packaging states 'Made with 100% Natural Whole Grain Oats,'" Davis observed in his 19-page order dismissing the lawsuit with prejudice. "And there is no dispute that the products were made with whole grain oats that, themselves, are '100% Natural.' Even if the glyphosate traces are present on the oats, there is no allegation that the oats, themselves, are not natural." The complaint alleged violations of consumer protection laws in several states, and plaintiffs sought certifi cation of state classes for residents from California, Illinois and New York who purchased Nature Valley products. Minneapolis-based General Mills, whose 23 fl avors of Nature Valley products in various categories were under siege, said it was "pleased with the court's ruling." The dismissal of the case marks a successful end to the glyphosate class action litigation for General Mills, which faced several lawsuits before they were consolidated in December in the U.S. District Court in Minnesota. Court Answers Weed-Killer Question in General Mills' 'Natural' Lawsuit by Josh Long RT Specialty offers the exclusive RT Nutra Program The RT Nutra Program is the leading insurance soluƟon for the NutraceuƟcal/Natural Products Industry. Our program offers coverage for General Liability including Products Liability & Excess Liability and is underwriƩen by an "A XV" rated carrier. The RT Nutra program offers Primary Limit Capacity of up to $10M per occurrence and $20M aggregate. Excess limits up to $50M readily available. We also offer a wide range of deducƟbles and coverage enhancements with limited ingredient exclusions. Coverage can be tailored to fit your needs. Contact Denise Pepin, Senior VP 312.379.8230 dpepin@rtspecialty.com R-T Specialty, LLC (RT), a subsidiary of Ryan Specialty Group, LLC, provides wholesale brokerage and other services to agents and brokers. RT is a Delaware limited liability company based in Illinois. As a wholesale broker, RT does not solicit insurance from the public. Some products may only be available in certain states, and some products may only be available from surplus lines insurers. In California: R-T Specialty Insurance Services, LLC License #0G97516. © 2016 Ryan Specialty Group, LLC

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