Chemicals from Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup has been found in Cheerios and similar products.
Details of the Roundup Contamination
On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group released the results of a test it conducted on popular oat-based products to determine whether the herbicide glyphosate, the active chemical in the weed killer Roundup. The oat-based products include brands such as Lucky Charms, Cheerios, Kind Bars, Nature Valley Bars and more. At high levels, the active ingredient glyphosate has been linked to cancer.
Earlier this week, a jury in San Francisco awarded a groundskeeper who worked with Roundup for two years and became terminally ill with non-Hodgkin lymphoma $289 million in damages from Monsanto. Over 4,000 other lawsuits against the agrochemical company are impending.
The test by the EWG involved 45 samples of conventionally grown oats, and 16 samples of organically grown oats. The testing of the conventionally grown oats found that 43 of the 45 samples contained glyphosate. 31 of those samples had glyphosate levels that were above the benchmark set by the EWG at 160 parts per billion. On the other hand, only five of the organic samples contained glyphosate, and none contained more than 160 ppb.
Each product contained different levels of glyphosate, with Quaker Old Fashioned Oats ranking at the top with 1,000 ppb. The Cheerios samples ranged from 470ppb to 530ppb, while two Lucky Charms samples tested at 400ppb and 230ppb.
Nature Valley products also tested, in most cases, above the benchmark set by EWG. The company’s Granola Oats n’ Honey had 220ppb and 170ppb in its two tests. Another product, Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats n’ Honey tested at 340ppb and 120ppb.
Company Reply and Possible Alternatives for Concerned Consumers
The company replied to the results in statement saying “We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products, Quaker does not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process. Glyphosate is commonly used by farmers across the industry who apply it pre-harvest.” In addition, the company says the reported levels of glyphosate “are significantly below any regulatory limits.”
The healthiest options appear to be organic, many of which did not contain the chemical at all including Simple Truth Organic Oatmeal, and Kashi’s Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal. A healthy option for a granola bar is Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry.
Although the World Health Organization and California state scientists have linked Roundup to cancer, it is the most used pesticide in the U.S. It is often sprayed before harvest, causing it to cling the crops and linger in the food.
Even more concerning, the EWG says that glyphosate poses an even greater risk for children, who intake about 230 times the 160ppb benchmark. Children between the ages of one and two have a much greater exposure the chemical.
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