A study has found that a weed-killing chemical known to some health experts to cause cancer can be found in a variety of children’s breakfast foods.
Environmental Working Group (EWG) found trace amounts of glyphosate in granolas and oats.
In a test of 45 products, scientists found 31 of the products had unsafe levels of glyphosate.
The World Health Organization lists glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen” while California says the chemical is “known to the state to cause cancer”.
“We’re very concerned that consumers are eating more glyphosate than they know,” said EWG vice president of government affairs Scott Faber.
Faber said his team found “45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats” and glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the weed-killer Roundup, in 43 of the samples.
The effects of the chemical are still not completely understood.
“We don’t know a lot about the effects of glyphosate on children,” said Dr. Jennifer Lowry of the Council of Environmental Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Products determined by EWG to have immoderate levels of glyphosate were Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Quaker Dinosaur Egg Instant Oats, Great Value Instant Oats, Back to Nature Classic Granola and Cheerios.
While the herbicide was also found in a few products listed as organic, most had non-detectable levels of glyphosate.
The Roundup weed-killer company Monsanto has said in a statement that “glyphosate does not cause cancer” and “has a more than 40-year history of safe use.”
The company disputes EWG’s study saying “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,” referring to glyphosate residues.
However, Monsanto was ordered last week to pay a man $289 million in damages after he claimed Roundup caused his cancer.
Moms Across America is a group that raises awareness about toxic exposures is aware of the potential dangers of glyphosate.
“It is time now for them to step up and do their jobs to ban glyphosate,” said Zen Honeycutt, a leader of Moms Across America.
Quaker said in a statement: “We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products. 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.”
CBS News reported a statement by General Mills reads: “Our products are safe and without question, they meet regulatory safety levels. The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow.”
Foods with traces of glyphosate
- Nature’s Path Organic Honey Almond granola
- Back to Nature Classic Granola
- Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins and Almonds
- Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters
- Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats ‘n Honey
- KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
- Giant Instant Oatmeal, Original
- Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original
- Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal
- Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal
- Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan
- Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream
Oat Breakfast Cereal
- Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted Cereal
- Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal
- Lucky Charms
- Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original Cereal
- Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal
- Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar
- KIND Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats ‘n Honey
- Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar
- Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry
- 365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
- Nature’s Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats
- Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats