Group finds weed-killing chemical in dozens of breakfast foods

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A widely used herbicide that has been labeled a carcinogen by some organizations has been found in a number of breakfast foods, a new study found.

In tests of 45 products made from oats, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that all but two had traces of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.

Out of those products, 31 had levels above what the EWG’s scientists consider safe for children, which is .01 milligrams per day.


Some of the products affected included Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Quaker Dinosaur Egg Instant Oats and Back to Nature Classic Granola, according to CBS News.

The World Health Organization has classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen,” though the product’s harm to humans is still being debated.

The report comes days after Monsanto was ordered to award $289 million to a terminally ill man who claimed that excessive exposure and use of Roundup caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Monsanto has defended the product, saying that glyphosate does not cause cancer and is safe for human use.

The agricultural giant pushed back on the EWG study, telling CBS News that the levels detected in the foods are significantly lower than what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers unsafe.

“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,” the company said.

Quaker and General Mills issued similar statements, both telling CBS News that their products comply with what the EPA considers to be safe limits of glyphosate.

EWG President Ken Cook said in a press release that the group will push the EPA to review its policies on glyphosate and end the use of the product in crops.

“I grew up eating Cheerios and Quaker Oats long before they were tainted with glyphosate,” Cook said. “No one wants to eat a weed killer for breakfast, and no one should have to do so.”

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