Familiar breakfast foods and snacks contain potentially risky amounts of a weed-killing chemical, according to a new study. But what if our go-to breakfasts like granola bars, cereals, and instant oats are actually risky for us?
Weed killer, it's what's for breakfast! Still, about 30 percent of the samples tested of foods made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate - though all at levels below EWG's health benchmark.
Out of those products, 31 had levels above what the EWG's scientists consider safe for children, which is.01 milligrams per day.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, an herbicide used to treat Roundup Ready corn and soy plants that have been genetically engineered to resist the chemical. But there haven't yet been human studies of the health effects of glyphosate exposure in food, and though there have been studies of farmworkers and more studies in animals, there are relatively few studies overall. The patient says his illness was caused by repeated exposure to Roundup and other glyphosate-based products. It comes days after a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper more than $289 million in damages after claiming that Roundup gave him cancer.
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General Mills and Quaker Oats should volunteer to meet real health standards and make the effort to remove glyphosate from their products. Along with that, on December 18, the company even posted on their website a statement by the EPA, "The draft human health risk assessment concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans".
250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops every year, but the highest concentrations of the chemical are found in non-GMO wheat, barley, oats, and beans. It is also listed by California as a chemical that can cause cancer. Farmers often use glyphosate not only for killing weeds, but just before harvesting a crop, as a way to dry out the food so it can be harvested more quickly.
In its ruling, the court found that the company's Roundup and Ranger Pro products presented a "substantial danger" to consumers and that the company knew-or should have known-the potential risks they posed.
"While our products comply with all safety and regulatory requirements, we are happy to be part of the discussion and are interested in collaborating with industry peers, regulators and other interested parties on glyphosate", a Quaker spokesman said Wednesday.
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On the other hand, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer agency that falls under the World Health Organization, classifies glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans". He has been working to improve food safety standards for more than a decade.
"Plaintiffs are putting forward junk science that is not based upon the 40 years of safe glyphosate use and studies", Scott Partridge, Monsanto's vice president of global strategy, told Reuters.
We expect better from General Mills and Quaker Oats, and we will continue to urge consumers to express their preference with their pocketbooks.
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