Study Finds Cheerios, Oats, Other Breakfast Foods May Contain Weed Killer

Ignacio Smith
August 19, 2018

A new report found glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities link to cancer, in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children.

Information from NBC News was included in this report.

Johnson's case was the first to go to trial because doctors said he was near death.

"We don't know a lot about the effects of glyphosate on children", said Lowry, "And essentially we're just kind of throwing it at them".

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The environmental group said it made a decision to add a tenfold "margin of safety". According to studies conducted by the Environmental Working Group, a US-based public health organisation, 43 out of 45 oat-derived products sampled were found to have significant levels of the glyphosate, the active compound in all weedkillers.

Glyphosate, which is an herbicide linked to causing cancer by California state scientists, was detected in all but two of the 45 samples provided that contained conventionally grown oats, reported EWG.

A recent verdict finding Monsanto's popular weed killer caused a terminally ill man's cancer could be disastrous for the agrochemical giant as thousands of other plaintiffs prepare for their day in court and lawmakers begin to consider bans on the product. "No one wants to eat a weedkiller for breakfast, and no one should have to do so", EWG president Ken Cook noted. So what happens is that glyphosate being one of the most common pesticides out there is you have what's called drift - where the other farms are spraying their crops with glyphosate.

The German company, which owns controversial agricultural company Monsanto, says herbicides containing glyphosate are safe. "The agency's assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label", the EPA says.

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Quaker Oats released a statement, "We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products". In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled glyphosate a carcinogen in 1985, but reversed its position in 1991.

Dr. Lowry heads the council on environmental health for the American Academy of Pediatrics. WSU Professor Michael Skinner said there is enough evidence to show that the risk of harm from direct exposure to small amounts of glyphosate is low and safe. "Through the use of glyphosate, farmers are able to practise minimum tillage - protecting soil structure and nutrients and ultimately increasing the storage of soil carbon", she said.

Both Ms Simson and Mr Young said glyphosate formed a crucial part of Australian farmers' tool-kit to control invasive weeds in food crops.

"I grew up eating Cheerios and Quaker Oats long before they were tainted with glyphosate. Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any limits of the safety standards set by the EPA and the European Commission as safe for human consumption". Once the oats are transported to us, we put them through our rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulled, cleaned, roasted and flaked).

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There were even a few organic products found to have glyphosate, although most had non-detectable levels.

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