retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The New York Times reports this morning that "a lawsuit seeking to be certified as a class action has been filed on behalf of consumers in New York and California against the owner of Quaker Oats after testing found traces of the pesticide glyphosate in some oatmeal ... While the level of glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weed killer Roundup, detected in the oatmeal falls well below the limit set by federal regulators for human consumption, the lawsuit accuses Quaker of false advertising because it markets the oatmeal as '100% natural'."

Quaker has responded by saying that "it did not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process but that it might be applied by farmers to certain grains before harvest ... The company said it puts the oats it receives through a cleansing process. 'Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are trace amounts and significantly below any limits which have been set by the E.P.A. as safe for human consumption,' the company said."

• The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Aldi has said it will stop selling foods raised using eight major pesticides - Deltamethrin, Chlorpyrifos, Clothianidin, Cypermethrin, Imidacloprid, Thiamethoxam, Sulfoxaflo and Fipronil - in its European stores.

• The Seattle Times reports that "nearly 30,000 grocery store workers in the Puget Sound region agreed on a labor contract with several employers including Albertsons, Safeway, Fred Meyer and QFC as well as some independent stores ... The contract guarantees raises above the current minimum wage and requires employers to better fund pension and healthcare plans."

The story notes that it is the first time in 15 years that management and labor have agreed on a contract before the existing deal ends.
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