The Quaker Oats Co. recently settled a four-year class-action lawsuit charging the company with false health claims regarding trans fat in several of their oatmeal products.
According to TurthInAdvertising.org (aka. TINA) the complaint, which was originally filed in 2010, alleged that Quaker Oats misleadingly labeled products – including Quaker Instant Oatmeal, Quaker Chewy Granola Bars, and Quaker Oatmeal to Go Bars – as “Wholesome” and “Heart Healthy” when, in reality, they contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oil which has dangerous levels of artificial trans fat. Artificial trans fat has been shown to contribute to heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
TINA reports that according to the settlement terms, Quaker Oats has agreed to remove partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from its Oatmeal to Go and Instant Quaker Oatmeal products by December 31, 2015, and may not reintroduce partially hydrogenated vegetable oil’s into those products for a period of at least 10 years. In addition, Quaker Oats agreed not to introduce partially hydrogenated vegetable oils into products – such as Quaker Chewy Bars and Instant Quaker Oatmeal – that do not contain partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for a period of 10 years. Quaker Oats also agreed to stop making claims that products contain a “dietarily insignificant amount of trans fat” on any products that contain 0.2 grams or more of artificial trans fat per serving.
TINA regularly reports on trans fat-related class action lawsuits.