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Quaker Oats and their family of products have been a part of our everyday life for decades. It is the first registered trademark for a breakfast cereal. Both former owners, Henry Seymour and William Heston, claimed to have selected the Quaker name as a symbol of good quality and honest value. History of Quaker Oats start from a founder which named Ferdinand Schumacher, also known as The Oatmeal King find out that the oats in US was just to feed livestock, rarely got residents buy the food product while most of the country in Europe were used to eat oats and porridge. Schumacher start to change the ways to pack and prepare oats. Demand for the crop grow after Schumacher innovated the ways to chop the oats into one-ounce square blocks and was skyrocketed during American Civil War. Because oats was highly demanded as it is cheap to feed a lot of people and can be cooked in a short period of time. Over the time, Quaker has introduced lots of new products and recipes which is the oatmeal cookies, new package and flavors to benefits the consumers. Starting in the 80th century, people keep fighting with cholesterol by eating muffins, cookies, even donuts that contain Oats bran. But the enthusiasm lost as the new studies carried out in 1997 by Food and Drug Administration that eating foods with enough soluber fiber which is three to fourth gram per serving may reduce the risk of heart disease. Quaker Oats then allowed to advertise claims about their oats can help to manage cholesterol. His first office was setting up in Penang Malaysia back in June 1972 under PepsiCo Malaysia to manufacture oats products for marketing in Malaysia and Singapore. Quaker was later been owned by PepsiCo in 2001. There is a complete range of Quaker Oats products available today, and suitable for everyone in the family, plus a variety of lifestyles. Which is cereal, instant oat porridge, oat cereal drink , cookies and oatmeal. Their product is conveniently available in all major hypermarkets and most of the supermarkets in Malaysia. No one is perfect, Quaker Oats has numerous ethical issues that can be discuss. In 2016, Quaker Oats has been accused of false advertising about “100 Percent Natural” despite having traces of the weed killer glyphosate found in its famous oatmeal.
Ethical issues involving in Quaker Oats
Base on ‘The New York Times’ News on 2016 has say that PepsiCo Inc.’s Quaker Oats has been accused of false advertising by a group of consumers in New York, California and Illinois, who have filed a class action lawsuit challenging the company’s claim of being “100 Percent Natural” despite having traces of the weed killer glyphosate found in its famous oatmeal. According to the complaint, glyphosate allegedly made its way into Quaker Oats “not simply because it is used as an agricultural weed killer, but because it is sprayed on the oats as a drying agent shortly before harvest.” The plaintiffs, who are seeking refunds from Pepsi Co., are not accusing Quaker of illegally using glyphosate but that its “100 Percent Natural” claim is “false, deceptive and misleading” since it contains the controversial chemical. A test paid for by lawyers for the plaintiffs, the Richman Law Group, found glyphosate at a level of 1.18 parts per million in a sample of Quaker Oats Quick 1-Minute. This is roughly 4 percent of the 30 parts per million that the Environmental Protection Agency allows in cereal grains. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide Roundup, was declared a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) last year. Although Glyphosate are the most widely used agricultural herbicide in the world but over applied to certain grains before harvest but over using may lead to health problem linked to numerous maladies, including breast, thyroid, kidney, pancreas and bladder cancers.
ETHICAL ISSUES SOLVED BY THE COMPANY
1079505588000According to the newspaper “The New York Times”, 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.”
Regarding this ethical issues, the company stated at its official website that the oats used in its products are grown in an environmentally responsible way, and mentioned that since oats require less herbicide spray than many other grains, there is less risk of pollutants and groundwater contamination. While in another ways, the Quaker Oats company also mentioned in a statement that it did not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process but it might be applied by farmers because glyphosate is commonly used by farmers across the industry who apply it pre-harvest. The Quaker Oats company kind of shirk the responsibilities to whom does the plantation which is not directly responsibilities of them.
Other than that, the company also address the issues by said that once the oats are transported to them, they will puts the oats through their rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulled, cleaned, roasted and flaked) and any levels of glyphosate that may remain are trace amounts and significantly below any limits which have been set by the Environment Production Agency (E.P.A.) as safe for human consumption.
Conclusion, we assume that the management of the Quaker Oats company is not a favour for a multinational company this is because the related ethical issues which is contain unsafe level of weed killer chemical occur against in 2018. While a good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them but the Quaker Oats doesn’t did it.
Our opinion about solution and recommendation for this ethical issue
In our opinion, Quaker oats should have noticed and take action to a statement has been done by World Health Organization in 2015 that classified glyphosate as “Probably” carcinogenic to humans and take action regarding to the claim of their product which is “100 Percent Natural”. It is unbelievable for a company that is selling grains based products not knowing their oats are sprayed with herbicide containing a chemical called glyphosate. In 2016, Quaker been sued for $5 million dollars by a man claiming the company’s production process includes a weed killer after a report has been made by The New York Times. By the time, Quaker should have investigate their production line and always monitor the food production is the oats been washes systematically based on the procedure? Not just blame the farmers. Although the process of washing the oats still remain some glyphosate but it is impossible for the Food and Drug Administration has tested out most of the Quaker’s products had glyphosate level higher than the maximum dose can be eat in a singer serving. In 2018, glyphosate found are over limit of the compliance set by FDA. That means Quaker are not taking any move from 2016. We suggest Quaker not to just follow an agency but suppose to take in.
Besides, the company must be responsible for their product that give an affected to the client’s health and caused the company been prosecuted by the victims. The company have to admit the false of the fake advertisement. Quaker’s must apologize to the customer for their fake advertisement about the oats containing glyphosate that can cause cancer. As the mistake that has been made by the company, they have to change the advertisement as soon as possible to improve the company impression by the consumers. For example, Quaker can claims that most of their products are “99 Percent Natural” instead of “100 Percent Natural”. According to independent laboratory tests commissioned by Environment Working Group scientist, Alexis Temkin, PhD, Toxicologist’s report shows almost three-fourths of 45 samples tasted had containing glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health with an adequate margin of safety.
In addition, Quaker have to research about the content of glyphosate level in their product and accept the reality that their product containing glyphosate that was over limit. Quaker should not blamed to Mosanto about their product was containing glyphosate was from the farmer because the weed already been cleaned by water before the processing of oats. This shows that the processing in cleaning weed was not systematically and the managers did not monitor the producing of products.
Lorraine Chow, (). Quaker Oats Accused of Being “Deceptive and Misleading” from https://www.ftcguardian.com/articles/quaker-oats-accused-of-being-deceptive-and-misleading/Stephanie Strom, (2016, May 1). Quaker Oats’ 100% Natural Claim Questioned in Lawsuit from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/02/business/quaker-oats-100-natural-claim-questioned-in-lawsuit.html
Shay Spence, (2018, August 16). General Mills Responds to Report of Cancer-Linked Chemical Found in Its Cereals from https://people.com/food/general-mills-cheerios-weed-killer-chemical-glyphosate-quaker-oats-response/Susan Scutti, (2018, August 15). Unsafe levels of a weed killer chemical in oat products, report says from HYPERLINK “https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/15/health/glyphosate-oat-products-ewg-study/index.html” https://edition.cnn.com/2018/08/15/health/glyphosate-oat-products-ewg-study/index.html
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