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Roundup Chemical in Your Cereal: What to Know

19 August, 2018, 05:16 | Author: Melinda Barton
  • New study finds glyphosate in kids' cereals and snack bars

Lab tests conducted by the left-leaning Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy group that specializes in toxic chemicals and corporate accountability, indicated nearly three-fourths of the 45 food products tested detected high levels of glyphosate, which has been identified as a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization in 2015. Faber said his team tested, "45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats", and found glyphosate in all but two.

"More than 800 scientific studies, the US EPA, the National Institutes of Health and regulators around the world have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer".

Specific products found to contain the herbicide include Quaker Dinosaur Eggs instant oatmeal, Lucky Charms cereal, Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bars and Kellogg's Nutrigrain strawberry breakfast bars.

A week ago, Monsanto was ordered by a court to pay almost $300 million to a man who claims his terminal cancer was caused by exposure to Roundup.

"In a statement provided to CBS News, Monsanto pushed back against the study's results saying that "even at the highest level reported... an adult would have to eat 118 pounds of the food item every day for the rest of their life in order to reach the EPA's limit" for glyphosate residues".

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been under scrutiny for years. For its own risk level assessment, the nonprofit chose to increase that to a one-in-a-million risk (the risk factor that California considers for some drinking water contaminants), and then went up by another factor of 10 based on a recommendation from the Food Quality Protection Act that children's health should apply a 10x safety factor.


The herbicide was also found in smaller concentrations in five samples of organic oat products. "The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats", the company says.

"There's been a lot of controversy over whether this chemical actually has the ability to cause cancer". In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is part of the World Health Organization, identified the ingredient as a "probable carcinogen". It is believed that organic foods may be victim to Roundup drift from nearby farms, or may become cross-contaminated during processing.

Health Canada most recently studied glyphosate in 2017, describing the chemical as "unlikely to pose a human cancer risk" and standing by its previous conclusion that products containing it "do not present unacceptable risks to human health or the environment when used according to the revised product label directions". Farmers often use glyphosate not only for killing weeds, but just before harvesting a crop, as a way to dry out the food so it can be harvested more quickly.

A General Mills spokeswoman said: "Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels". And 1.3 per cent of those were at levels higher than the level considered acceptable in Canada.

The EWG's child-protective benchmark is 160 parts per billion.

Even at the unacceptable levels, Health Canada still considered the foods safe.

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