A new report might have some parents thinking twice about what they feed their kids for breakfast.
The study, carried out by the non-profit Environmental Working Group, found that 43 out of 45 popular breakfast cereals tested in three locations in the United States contained traces of glyphosate.
Nearly three-quarters of food samples tested showed higher glyphosate levels than what the group's scientists believe to be "protective of children's health", the report indicates.
Last week, a California jury awarded a man $289 million after he alleged alleges that heavy contact with Roundup caused non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"The draft human health risk assessment concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans", the EPA said in a 2017 draft risk assessment for glyphosate. In California, based on that ruling, glyphosate is now listed under a registry of chemicals known to cause cancer; the state has proposed that an average adult can be exposed to 1.1 milligrams of the chemical per day with no significant risk (The EPA, which does not consider glyphosate a carcinogen, suggests the limit is 2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight a day, or 140 milligrams for an average adult).
Getty Images/Blend Images Oat-based cereals, including Cheerios, were found to contain glyphosate. Products with some of the highest levels of glyphosate include granola, oats and snack bars made by leading industry namesQuaker, Kellogg's and General Mills, which makes Cheerios. Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal contained as much as 780 parts per billion in one sample. To reach the level of maximum level exposure, the group says one would only need to consume a 60 gram serving of food with a glyphosate level of 160 parts per billion (ppb). Five out of 16 organically-grown oat products tested also have the herbicide.
Glyphosate, found in Monsanto's widely-used pesticide Roundup, was called "probably carcinogenic" by the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015. "The Environmental Protection Agency has a range of safe levels for glyphosate on crops such as corn, soybeans, grains and some fruits, spanning 0.1 to 310 parts per million". This is still within safe levels deemed by the Environmental Protection Agency, although it is now working on an updated assessment.
But others have questioned the findings that glyphosate is cancer-causing. Glyphosate has a more than 40-year history of safe use. It can also be used on produce such as spinach and almonds. Lucky Charms were tested in two samples and found to have 400ppb and 230ppb levels, respectively. The high levels of glyphosate came from the oats themselves.
Some products were found to have no detectable glyphosate or low levels, but the vast majority of those tested did have some.
Even at the unacceptable levels, Health Canada still considered the foods safe.
Others say the study won't change their habits now, but hope there will be more research about the health effects in the future.
EWG is working to get companies like General Mills, Quaker and Kelloggs to take glyphosate out of their products.
The report cites independent laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group, EWG.
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