Weed Killer Found In Kids’ Cereal, Breakfast Foods

Jo Lloyd
August 18, 2018

But given the direction that environmental legislation has been going since, say, January of 2017, the best bet may be to look towards the companies that use these ingredients rather than the government.

"Oat-based foods are a healthy source of fibre and nutrients for children and adults, and oat consumption is linked to health benefits such as lowered cholesterol and decreased cardiovascular risk".

Careful about giving your child Cheerios or Quaker Oats cereals. California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment is adding to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.

EWG is urging the EPA to review all evidence linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk.

The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as a "probable human carcinogen", though the product's harm to humans is still being debated.

The report comes days after a landmark ruling that awarded a California groundskeeper $289.2 million claiming Monsanto's weed killer Roundup caused him to have cancer. It says some studies have associated glyphosate use with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The lowest level, 10 parts per billion, came from a sample of Whole Foods conventional rolled oats scooped from a bulk bin.

The New York Times reports that Scott Partridge, vice president at Monsanto, the company that developed the herbicide more than 40 years ago, called the Environmental Working Group an "activist group" that has an agenda.

About one-third of 16 samples of foods made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, all at levels well below EWG's health benchmark. Opting for non-GMO corn and soy products should make it easy for consumers to avoid the herbicide, but it is also used to dry some grain crops out at harvest, including oats.

The highest levels were found in Quaker Old Fashioned Oats - 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has found that children between the ages of one and two have much higher exposure than older people.

"It is very troubling that cereals children like to eat contain glyphosate", said Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., EWG toxicologist and author of the report.

In April, internal emails obtained from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that scientists have found glyphosate on a wide range of commonly consumed food, to the point that they were finding it hard to identify a food without the chemical on it.

"Glyphosate does not belong in cereal", Tenkin wrote.

"We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products", Quaker Oats told Fortune in a statement. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats. Kellogg, for example, said its food is safe and that the ingredients it buys from suppliers fall under the EPA's "strict standards for safe levels of these agricultural residues". 31 of these contained dangerously high levels of the chemical.

"This is what the poison control centers are here for, if there's ever any question of exposure or concern, we're a great free, public health entity", he says.

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