Breakfast foods marketed to children contain cancer-causing weed killer, study says

19 August, 2018, 15:26 | Author: Tracy Craig
  • New study finds glyphosate in kids' cereals and snack bars

On Wednesday, CBS reported that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released their findings from a study that tested 45 samples of products from conventionally grown oats.

EWG claims it discovered risky doses of glyphosate in 43 of the 45 conventionally grown oats products it tested, 31 of which it claims have unsafe amounts for children.

The Environmental Working Group said the levels of glyphosate it found in cereals were many times lower than the safe levels set by the EPA years ago, and even below the much more stringent levels set by California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. In 31 of those cases, levels were above the EWG's 160 parts per billion health benchmark.

Last week's California court decision awarding $289 million in damages to a dying man who claims Monsanto's Roundup weed killer gave him cancer rocked the agritech industry.

In contrast the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says it is safe when used carefully and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in humans. However the FDA has not yet released any official results.

In fact, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, which is one of the healthiest foods on the list of breakfast foods from the research, had the highest level of the weedkiller, according to Quartz.

Unfortunately, we have no idea if a product needs to be recalled or is unsafe for consumption if we're not informed. "Comparatively, from everything that I see, this is a small risk", said Gould, who led a committee studying the safety of genetically engineered crops for the National Academy of Medicine.

During the latest court case, Monsanto attempted to counter plaintiff Johnson's claims that Roundup caused his cancer using extensive testimony from expert witnesses. The team studied almost 45,000 people who had applied glyphosate as part of their jobs.

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While it became the world's most popular and widely used herbicide, the question of whether it causes cancer has been hotly debated by environmentalists, regulators, researchers and lawyers - even as Monsanto has insisted for decades that it's perfectly safe.

"Farmers, like all citizens, care about the safety and health of their families and farm workers", Ms Simson said.

The World Health Organization says glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen".

Johnson's landmark lawsuit was the first to go to trial alleging that glyphosate causes cancer.

Faber said he's skeptical of EPA's glyphosate limits. "Through the use of glyphosate, farmers are able to practise minimum tillage - protecting soil structure and nutrients and ultimately increasing the storage of soil carbon", she said. Once the oats are transported to us, we put them through our rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulled, cleaned, roasted and flaked).

Careful about giving your child Cheerios or Quaker Oats cereals.

The EPA and the Food and Drug Administration say they are studying the current guidance for safe levels of glyphosate in food.

"'We live in such a pollutant-rich, you know, pathogen-rich environment, that I don't think it makes any sense to worry about trace elements of this or that", said Ron Fielder of Oakland.

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