The ‘Healthy’ Oatmeal Brand You Should Never, Ever Eat

Quaker Oats Radioactivity lawsuit


Oatmeal is often praised as one of the healthiest foods a person can possibly eat. Hailed as a miracle food for people with “high cholesterol,” it is often consumed as a breakfast food by people 30, 40, or even 50 years or older.

The top-selling oatmeal brand is Quaker Oats, which has the top five best-selling oatmeal products in the United States as of the writing of this article. Meanwhile, organic brands like One Degree, which has a sprouted organic oatmeal product, remain relegated to the background.

Quaker Oats has often positioned itself as a ‘heart healthy’ food. Because of its enormous spending power, the company is able to out-advertise its competitors while snapping up the most appealing spaces for its product displays on store shelves.

What Quaker Oats doesn’t tell you is enough to fill a warehouse, however. Let’s start with an unconscionable scandal that regarded in a high profile lawsuit and a settlement resulting from radioactive oatmeal fed to unsuspecting test subjects. 


Quaker Oats’ ‘Radioactive Oatmeal’ Lawsuit 

In 1998, a group of students who unwittingly consumed radioactive oatmeal given to them by the Quaker Oats company were awarded a $1.85 million settlement on behalf of the company and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to a report from The Washington Post, more than 100 youngsters from Fernald School in Waltham. Massachusetts were given cereal containing radioactive iron and calcium in the 1940s and 1950s. The diet was administered to see whether nutrients in the oatmeal would travel through their bodies or not. 

“It’s a violation of your civil rights, which is why they’re paying $1.8 million to treat a minor as a guinea pig and to feed them radiation,” attorney Alexander Bok said.

Bok represented Cream of Wheat. The lawsuit stated that Quaker Oats had attempted to match Bok’s company’s advertising claims by administering the experiment.

Children who were given the oatmeal were “inaccurately classified as mentally retarded,” the Post article stated.

Another $60 million lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court two years earlier claimed that children were tricked into joining the science club to participate in the experiments.

“They put out a consent form that neglects to mention that there’s radioactivity [in the oatmeal],” Bok said. “If the radiation was okay, why didn’t they disclose it?”

In response, MIT said that the students were exposed to the same amount of radiation that is present in the local environment. In 1994, a state task force determined there were no ill effects. Still, the company’s approach to the experiment and the secrecy surrounding it is a big reason why Quaker Oats received so much negative publicity.

Glyphosate in Quaker Oats Products 


In October 2018, a class action lawsuit was filed against Quaker Oats stating that its products contain unhealthy amounts of the toxic herbicide glyphosate, which was dubbed a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s top cancer research department in spring 2015.

Plaintiff Morgan Steckler alleged that Quaker Oats products “are made from wheat contaminated by glyphosate, a broad spectrum pesticide commonly sprayed on crops,” according to the lawsuit.

In 2018, two Quaker Oatmeal Squares products had detectable levels of almost 3,000 parts per billion, or ppb.


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According to the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit that tested the Quaker Oats samples, the safe threshold for food is 160 parts per billion, considerably lower than government thresholds. 

EWG tested three different flavored Quaker Oatmeal Squares again in 2023 and found results at less than 500 ppb, a major improvement, with some samples coming in at 20 ppb.

Still, the presence of the cancer-linked, toxic chemical glyphosate remains — and in some cases, the products may contain more than both the EWG and the United States government’s limits for safety.

Thanks for reading! More information on Quaker Oats glyphosate tests can be found by clicking on this link. You can also learn more about the radioactive oatmeal lawsuit by clicking here, and follow us on our Facebook page here

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About Nick Meyer

Nick Meyer is a journalist who's been published in the Detroit Free Press, Dallas Morning News and several other outlets. He founded AltHealthWORKS in 2012 to showcase extraordinary stories of healing and the power of organic living, stories the mainstream media always seemed to miss. Check out Nick's Amazon best-seller 'Dirt Cheap Organic: 101 Tips For Going Organic on a Budget' by clicking here, as well as its sequel Dirt Cheap Weight Loss.