Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Clean Eating in the News: Class Action Lawsuit Aginst Kashi For Hazardous Ingredients


      A class action lawsuit was filed last year against Kashi and its parent company Kellogg’s. The reason? Kashi’s GoLean and TLC products are marketed as “all-natural” and state that they contain “nothing artificial” when, in fact, they are “composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients”, so says the lawsuit. On August 31, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kashi for allegedly misleading consumers with its "natural" claims. One Kashi product in particular, GoLean Shakes, is composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients, according to the plaintiff.

But wait, it gets worse. MUCH WORSE.

The Kashi class action lawsuit alleges that some of these synthetic ingredients are even listed by the FDA as prescription drugs, irradiated substances, pesticides that are a by-product of uranium mining, and federally declared hazardous substances.

Here are just a few examples from the lawsuit of ingredients that have been included in Kashi’s products and claim to be “all natural” or contain “nothing artificial”:

- Phytonadione (Vitamin K) has not been listed by the FDA as generally recognized as safe as a food additive. Its injectible form is listed as a prescription drug.

Bromelain is an enzyme derived from pineapple. According to the National Library of Medicine’s Hazardous Substances Data Bank (HSDB), its production requires acetone, which is a hazardous synthetic substance.

- Sodium Molybdate has not been declared to be generally recognized as safe by the FDA. According to HSDB, molybdenum salts are by-products of uranium mining and can be found in fertilizers for leguminous crops, citing American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists.

 The class action lawsuit against Kashi and Kellogg’s lists 14 claims including making false, deceptive and misleading representations and omissions, negligence and negligent representation, false advertising, and conspiracy.

A blogger on Greenit all.com recently wrote about Kashi's use of GMOs in their cereals labeled as organic and natural. GMOs are not permitted in any product labeled with the USDA Organic stamp. Right click on the Greenitall.com link and open it in a new browser - well worth the read. 

Some of the items cited are specifically because they contain GMOs - so take that portion for what you will. 

Kashi Heart to Heart Blueberry Cereal was found to contain organophosphate pesticides implicated as causes of neuropathy in humans.

"Natural" Kashi Golean Honey almond Flax was found to contain malathion in the wheat and chlorpyrifos and piperonyl butoxide in the almonds both which are prohibited in organics due to their neurotoxicity and hormone disrupting ability in mammals.

Other toxic ingredients in Kashi cereals include GM canola oil, GM corn flour, GM corn meal, GM corn bran, irradiated cinnamon and soy lecithin.

Golean Original Cereal contains GM soy grits and protein, GM corn meal, GM corn flour and GM corn bran.

Golean Crisp! Cinnamon Crumble contains GM soy grits and protein, GM canola oil, GM corn flour, irradiated cinnamon and soy lecithin.

Golean Crisp! Toasted Berry Crumble contains GM soy grits and protein, GM canola oil, GM corn flour and soy lecithin.
A logical question that one may be asking right now is “Ok, they’re cracking down on ‘all-natural’ advertising but what does that have to do with organic?”
The answer is very simple.
Many consumers mistakenly believe that “natural” is superior to and healthier than “organic”. Yet, this is absolutely not the case.
If, however, as a result of these lawsuits, “natural” is no longer unfairly exploited and people soon realize that “natural” doesn’t really mean much at all, organic food can only benefit.
 They will soon realize that the healthiest food available is organic food.

If you'd like to read the entire class action lawsuit filed in California as a PDF click here!