Report says many breakfast cereals are contaminated by weed killer

Daniel Fowler
June 15, 2019

So far, California courts have awarded over $2.2 billion in total to three plaintiffs in those lawsuits.

Furthermore, all of the products but four were found to contain levels higher than EWG's safety threshold for child consumption, which is 160 parts per billion (ppb).

"Not surprisingly, the foods found very low levels of pesticides, including glyphosate, said Dr. Paolo Boffetta, Deputy Director for population Sciences at the Tisch cancer Institute at mount Sinai".

"The only way to quickly remove this cancer-causing weedkiller from foods marketed to children is for companies like General Mills and Quaker to use oats from farmers who do not use glyphosate as a desiccant", the study concludes.

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG, which is now owned by Monsanto, claims that its product is safe. The products "Cheerios" and "Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch" were found with the highest glyphosate levels with 729 ppb and 833 ppb respectively.

"As these latest tests show, a box of Cheerios or other oat-based foods on store shelves today nearly certainly comes with a dose of a cancer-causing weedkiller", said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG. But a World Health Organization agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, determined in 2015 that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans".

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"Major food companies like General Mills continue to sell popular children's breakfast cereals and other foods contaminated with troubling levels of glyphosate, the cancer-causing ingredient in the herbicide Roundup", said Olga Naidenko, EWG senior science adviser, and Alexis Temkin, EWG Toxicologist in a report released on June 12.

The EWG listed 21 popular cereals, saying scientists had purchased all products from online retail stores, packed 300 grams of each in its Washington office, and then shipped them to Anresco Laboratories in San Francisco. Serious doubts have also been cast on the EPA's neutrality regarding glyphosate, with critics accusing the agency of colluding with Bayer to pass off the chemical as safe. Those attacks, it said, "have largely originated from the agro-chemical industry and associated media outlets".

A 2017 CNN investigation of internal emails from Monsanto appeared to show company executives attempting to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer report before it was even released.

The company denies any undue influence on the regulators. "The group behind the new report has a long history of spreading misinformation about pesticide residues", spokeswoman Lord said. Foods labeled organic may not be grown with most synthetic substances, including glyphosate.

The group also has a "shared services agreement" with the Organic Voices Action Fund, a nonprofit organization funded by companies such as Nature's Path and Annie's - both of which make cereal.

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