Monday, 15 October, 2018

Weed Killer Found In Kids’ Cereal, Breakfast Foods

New study finds glyphosate in kids' cereals and snack bars Big US retailers stick by Roundup after cancer verdict
Kelvin Reese | 19 August, 2018, 05:17

A hearty bowl of oatmeal is a healthy way to start your day, but according to a new study, that bowl of oatmeal can contain unsafe levels of glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical linked to cancer. Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, for instance, didn't have the chemical in its oats.

The Environmental Working Group says it has studied 45 samples of products made with oats and found glyphosate in all but 2.

Organic products had lower levels of glyphosate; and nearly two-thirds of the samples made with organically grown oats didn't have any detectable glyphosate at all.

Both the Quaker Oats Company and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios, disagree with the EWG report's results, defending their products as safe to consume. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, and at high levels, has been linked to cancer. But there haven't yet been human studies of the health effects of glyphosate exposure in food, and though there have been studies of farmworkers and more studies in animals, there are relatively few studies overall.

Last week, a California jury awarded a man $289 million after he alleged alleges that heavy contact with Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The patient says his illness was caused by repeated exposure to Roundup and other glyphosate-based products.

General Mills and Quaker Oats should volunteer to meet real health standards and make the effort to remove glyphosate from their products.

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In light of the lawsuit and the World Health Organization's 2015 conclusion that the chemical is a "probable carcinogen", said EWG on Wednesday, "It is very troubling that cereals children like to eat contain glyphosate". In 2016, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization found that the chemical was "unlikely" to pose a risk to humans through food.

"We will appeal this decision and continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others", Monsanto Vice President Scott Partridge said in a statement at the time.

"There's been a lot of controversy over whether this chemical actually has the ability to cause cancer".

Glyphosate is the pesticide found in Roundup. This extra dousing is done to hasten drying of the grain and allows farmers to harvest crops as much as two weeks earlier than they normally would. In the USA, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled glyphosate a carcinogen in 1985, but reversed its position in 1991.

Now of course we have to present the EPA's side: The EPA denies that glyphosate may increase the risk of cancer.

Even organic oats can be contaminated if they sit next to fields where glyphosate is sprayed, or if they're processed on the same equipment as conventionally grown oats. An F.D.A. spokesman has said more recent samples are still under review, and that it would consider the Environmental Working Group's findings. "Quaker does not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process".

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