Weed-Killing Chemical Linked To Cancer Found In Some Children’s Breakfast Foods


The Environmental Working Group commissioned independent laboratory tests for glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, on more than a dozen brands of oat-based foods.

In California, the chemical found in the popular breakfast foods, bars and oats is listed as a chemical known to cause cancer. That includes General Mills favorites like Cheerios and Quaker Oats.

The lawsuit opens the floodgates for more litigation against Monsanto - which denies that the weed killer causes cancer and plans to appeal the verdict - and its use of the chemical glyphosate in Roundup.

A California jury on August 10 found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

"Quaker also released a statement following the report, saying it does not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process", and "glyphosate is commonly used by farmers across the industry who apply it pre-harvest". It was also reported that in 31 of the samples, the glyphosate level was more than what is believed to be healthy for children.

"We will petition the Environmental Protection Agency to do its job and end uses of glyphosate that resulted in the contamination we report today", said EWG President Ken Cook. Three tests of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats generated an average of 930 ppb, three tests of Cheerios generated an average of 497 ppb, and that Dinosaur Eggs version of instant oatmeal had two tests with an average of 700 ppb, the EWG says.

EWG is working to get companies like General Mills, Quaker and Kelloggs to take glyphosate out of their products. Thirty-one exceeded 160 parts of glyphosate per billion, a level the EWG considers unsafe for children, per CNN, though the EPA's standard is far lower, with its range topping out at 310 parts per million.

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"If only from a defensive perspective, this has to be a significant issue for food manufacturers like General Mills and Kellogg", Caklins says.

"The important thing to do is to continue to use common sense, and not overreact that all commercially available products at your local hardware store are an imminent threat to public health", he says. "Glyphosate has a more than 40-year history of safe use".

"Our view is that the government standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency pose real health risks to Americans - particularly children, who are more sensitive to the effects of toxic chemicals than adults", he said.

You can read the report here, and see which products tested high for the herbicide.

"We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products", the company replied in a statement. Providing safe, high-quality foods is one of the ways we earn the trust of millions of people around the world. Their daily glyphosate intake is estimated at 230 times the 160ppb benchmark, according to EWG. "The EPA sets strict standards for safe levels of these agricultural residues and the ingredients we purchase from suppliers for our foods fall under these limits".

When contacted on Thursday, however, local officials said while they were unaware of the recent findings, promised they would be investigating them right away.