Weed-Killing Chemical Found in Popular Breakfast Foods

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The Environmental Working Group, an environmental research and advocacy organization, said on Wednesday that it has found traces of a controversial herbicide in Quaker Oats, Cheerios and other breakfast foods that it says could increase the risk of cancer in children.

Traces of glyphosate, an active chemical ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, was found in two among the 45 products that were made with oats.

What's more, about one-third of the 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, but at levels below EWG's benchmark.

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.

Thirty-one of the breakfast foods were found to contain levels of glyphosate that were higher than the level that EWG deems safe for children.

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also determined that glyphosate is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans". But given the direction that environmental legislation has been going since, say, January of 2017, the best bet may be to look towards the companies that use these ingredients rather than the government. Many scientists and scientific organizations, including the US Environmental Protection Agency, state that in the amounts commonly consumed in food, glyphosate is not harmful to human health. Then, using a strict standard the group developed, it found elevated levels of glyphosate in 31 of them. "Simply stated, there is far too much glyphosate in their products for parents to feel comfortable feeding them to their kids".

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If you like living on the wild side don't throw out your Quaker Oats just yet, a spokesperson for General Mills in a statement to Fox Business said, "Our products are safe and without questions, they meet regulatory safety levels".

In a statement, Quaker told CBS News: "We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products". Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal contained as much as 780 parts per billion in one sample. (See those statements, as well as EWG's response, at the bottom of this article). "The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow".

Of EWG's study, Monsanto says "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" for glyphosate residues. "It is especially disappointing because these two multi-billion dollar companies can take the simple step of telling their oat farmers to stop using glyphosate as a harvest-time desiccant on their crops".

"Glyphosate does not belong in cereal".

"In this large, prospective cohort study, no association was apparent between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall", they wrote.

Glyphosate "has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others".