Medicine

Breakfast Products Contain Monsanto's Roundup, Says EWG

Breakfast Products Contain Monsanto's Roundup, Says EWG

A study of dozens of popular oat-based breakfast foods delivered sobering news this week when nearly all of the products examined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) were found to contain the chemical glyphosate.

Oats are the basis of many favorite children's snacks, including Cheerios and other baby finger-food cereals.

The Environmental Working Group commissioned independent laboratory tests for glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, on more than a dozen brands of oat-based foods.

FBN's Ashley Webster on Bayer shares' falling on news a California jury ordering the company's newly acquired Monsanto unit to pay $289 million for not warning of cancer risks from the company's weed-killer Roundup.

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.

"I grew up eating Cheerios and Quaker Oats long before they were tainted with glyphosate", said EWG President Ken Cook. 31 of these contained dangerously high levels of the chemical. "EWG has been urging the EPA to review all evidence linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk and other adverse health effects in human and animal studies". The chemical even showed up in several samples of organic oats. Still, about 30 percent of the samples tested of foods made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate - though all at levels below EWG's health benchmark.

"Simply stated, there is far too much glyphosate in their products for parents to feel comfortable feeding them to their kids", the group continued in its statement. "The EPA sets strict standards for safe levels of these agricultural residues and the ingredients we purchase from suppliers for our foods fall under these limits".

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"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", said a company representative.

"The challenge here is that the story seems pretty clear: Glyphosate is bad, and it is in a lot of food products", says Tim Calkins, clinical professor of marketing at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

No infant cereals or infant foods were found to contain unsafe levels of glyphosate, but just over 30 per cent of those products contained some traces of the chemical.

"While our products comply with all safety and regulatory requirements, we are happy to be part of the discussion and are interested in collaborating with industry peers, regulators and other interested parties on glyphosate", a Quaker spokesman said Wednesday. A full list of tested products and their glyphosate content is available as part of the study. It is believed that organic foods may be victim to Roundup drift from nearby farms, or may become cross-contaminated during processing. Farmers spray these crops with glyphosate right before harvest time, as they kill the crop and dry it out, making it ready for harvest quicker. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled glyphosate a carcinogen in 1985, but reversed its position in 1991.

Glyphosate has always been a major concern for health advocates.

Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any regulatory limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe for human consumption.