Quantcast

‘Natural’ Bread Tests Positive for Glyphosate

Food
People drink coffee at a Pret A Manger store in central London. Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images

Three non-profits have sued sandwich chain Pret A Manger for labeling certain breads and baked goods as "natural" when they tested positively for glyphosate, Beyond Pesticides announced in a press release Wednesday.

The suit was filed by Richman Law Group Friday in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia on behalf of Beyond Pesticides, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and GMO Free USA.


"Consumers expect Pret's food to be free of synthetic pesticides, including glyphosate. Glyphosate, patented as a chelator and an antibiotic, is linked to adverse health effects including cancer, infertility and non-alcoholic fatty liver and kidney diseases. Glyphosate shouldn't be present in the food system at all, but a company that willfully misrepresents its products needs to be held accountable," GMO Free Executive Director Diana Reeves said in the press release announcing the suit.

The suit comes as glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's widely-used Roundup weedkiller, has come under increased scrutiny after a California jury ruled in favor of a former groundskeeper who claimed that constant use of Roundup caused his cancer.

Two of the groups involved in this suit, Beyond Pesticides and OCA, settled a similar suit against General Mills in August when the company agreed to stop calling the oats in its Nature Valley granola bars "100% natural" when they also tested positive for glyphosate, Reuters reported.

The Pret suit asks the company to either accurately label the presence of glyphosate in its products or work to make them actually glyphosate-free.

"Consumers want truthful information on product ingredients, with labeling and advertising that is transparent about production practices and residues of toxic materials. Given the widespread use of pesticide-intensive practices, this lawsuit establishes the responsibility of purveyors of food products to know the origins of their product ingredients before making a 'natural' claim," Beyond Pesticides Executive Director Jay Feldman said in the press release.

Enough Roundup has been sprayed to cover every acre of cultivable land with half a pound of the weedkiller, The Guardian reported.

Kim Richman, a partner in the law firm behind the suit, said these suits were an attempt to make restaurants and companies work harder to reduce and control the use of glyphosate.

"While glyphosate is indeed ubiquitous, it doesn't need to be—and the campaign to put food producers and restaurants on notice about the issue is an important step in getting them to take glyphosate reduction seriously," Richman told The Guardian.

Richman's firm has filed another, similar lawsuit against Pret on behalf of Samara Daly and Linda Virtue in New York's Eastern District.

Pret was censured in April by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority for claiming its sandwiches where natural when they contained three common food additives, the lawsuit said.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting regular cholesterol tests shortly after you turn 20. Ca-ssis / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Many people don't begin worrying about their cholesterol levels until later in life, but that may be increasing their odds of heart problems in the long term.

Read More Show Less
A child receives a measles vaccine. DFID - UK Department for International Development / CC BY 2.0

Measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed more than 140,000, according to new estimates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Most of the people who died were children under five years old.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Ocean pollution concept with plastic and garbage pictured in Sri Lanka. Nestle is among the top corporate plastic polluters, according to a report called BRANDED Volume II: Identifying the World's Top Corporate Plastic Polluters. Anton Petrus / Moment / Getty Images

Nestlé cannot claim that its Ice Mountain bottled water brand is an essential public service, according to Michigan's second highest court, which delivered a legal blow to the food and beverage giant in a unanimous decision.

Read More Show Less

A number of supermarkets across the country have voluntarily issued a recall on sushi, salads and spring rolls distributed by Fuji Food Products due to a possible listeria contamination, as CBS News reported.

Read More Show Less
Birds eye view of beach in Green Bowl Beach, Indonesia pictured above, a country who's capital city is faced with the daunting task of moving its capital city of Jakarta because of sea level rise. Tadyanehondo / Unsplash

If you read a lot of news about the climate crisis, you probably have encountered lots of numbers: We can save hundreds of millions of people from poverty by 2050 by limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, but policies currently in place put us on track for a more than three degree increase; sea levels could rise three feet by 2100 if emissions aren't reduced.

Read More Show Less