Consumer Law

Quaker Oats settles case with agreement to remove trans fats


Quaker Oats has agreed to remove trans fats from its Oatmeal to Go and Instant Quaker Oatmeal products as part of a lawsuit settlement that doesn’t include money for those who are not name plaintiffs.

Quaker Oats will pay up to $760,000 in attorney fees and estimates it will cost $1.4 million to reformulate the products, report the National Law Journal, Courthouse News Service and BakeryandSnacks.com.

The company will remove partially hydrogenated oils from Oatmeal to Go and Instant Quaker Oatmeal by the end of 2015. By the end of this year, the company will remove labels stating that a product “contains dietarily insignificant amount of trans fat” if it contains more than 0.2 grams of artificial trans fat per serving. The company also pledges to keep trans fats out of its food for the next 10 years.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg of the Northern District of California approved the settlement July 29, turning aside objections by two plaintiffs.

Only the name plaintiffs will get a monetary recovery; they will receive $750 each, the National Law Journal says. In a joint motion, the parties argued that the value of each individual claim would be small, and a large part of any common fund would be spent sending low-value checks to class members.

Quaker Oats said in a statement it denies the allegations and legal claims in the suit, but the company wants to put the litigation behind it so it can focus on “making great-tasting products that consumers have come to love and trust for more than 135 years.”

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