General Mills is altering the label of its Nature Valley granola bars to remove the claim that the popular snack is "made with 100 percent Natural Whole Grain Oats." The move comes as part of a legal settlement by the food giant with consumer groups alleging that the bars contain traces of a pesticide.
In a lawsuit originally filed in 2016, those groups claimed that testing of the General Mills product had detected the presence of Roundup, a weed killer manufactured by Monsanto. The settlement was announced in a news release on Thursday.
"Nature Valley is confident in the accuracy of its label," a General Mills spokesperson said in an email. "We made the decision to settle this case to avoid the cost and distraction of litigation."
The agreement follows the release of a study earlier this month showing that a number of breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children contain glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup. Some health experts link glyphosate to cancer.
Monsanto was recently ordered to pay $289 million in damages to a Californiaman who claims the company's weed killer caused his cancer. The ruling was only the first of thousands of unresolved claims against Monsanto, now a subsidiary of German pharmaceutical giant Bayer, which maintains glyphosate is safe.
Last summer, a federal judge in Minnesota dismissed a class-action suit against General Mills involving the company's use of the word "natural," finding it wasn't plausible to conclude the label meant the product contained no chemicals.