Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Sci-tech | By Eric Barnett

Weed killer linked to cancer found in kids' cereal, oatmeal

Weed killer linked to cancer found in kids' cereal, oatmeal

Bad news for anyone who likes to eat cereal, or granola bars, or anything that contains oats at all: a recent study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) tested 45 conventional oat products for the presence of glyphosate, and researchers found it in 43 of them.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), part of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in 2015.

A week ago, Monsanto was ordered by a court to pay almost $300 million to a man who claims his terminal cancer was caused by exposure to Roundup.

In an interview with The Times on Wednesday, Scott Partridge, a vice president at Monsanto, said that hundreds of studies had validated the safety of glyphosate and that it doesn't cause cancer.

"This is the most widely used pesticide in the country", said Bill Walker, Vice-President of the Environmental Working Group. The group said the majority of oat products in the study exceeded that level. "Parents shouldn't worry about whether feeding their children heathy oat foods will also expose them to a chemical linked to cancer".

Monsanto disputes that, saying in a statement, "glyphosate does not cause cancer" and "has a more than 40-year history of safe use".

General Mills' popular Cheerios brand had the next highest with 530 parts per billion. The agency's assessment found no other meaningful risks to human health when the product is used according to the pesticide label.

The state of California lists Glyphosate as a chemical "known to the state to cause cancer".

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In its testing, the EWG tested 45 samples of conventionally grown oats and 16 of organically grown oats.

Getty Images/Blend Images Oat-based cereals, including Cheerios, were found to contain glyphosate.

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been under scrutiny for years. The amount of the chemical in those samples was well under what the EPA considers protective of health.

"We don't think it does enough in particular to protect children", Faber said.

In April, internal emails obtained from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) showed that scientists have found glyphosate on a wide range of commonly consumed food, to the point that they were finding it hard to identify a food without the chemical on it. It added that the reported levels of the chemical "are significantly below any regulatory limits" and compliance standards for human consumption. Farmers will spray the weed-killing chemical on crops, such as wheat, oats and lentils, before harvest.

In a statement to FOX Business, a Home Depot spokesperson said the company follows all regulatory guidelines regarding the sale of Roundup, and that they plan to continue to sell these products going forward. Many of these products nonetheless did show some glyphosate content, which Tenkin said was likely due to the chemical making its way to organic crops from other fields or cross-contamination at processing facilities.

Bayer shares registered yet another sharp decrease on Thursday (16 August), dropping as much as 6.5% in Frankfurt to hover near the 76 euros level as investors fear the German chemicals and pharmaceuticals giant may face numerous litigations in the United States after its controversial merger with Monsanto.

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