Published: Sat, August 18, 2018
Research | By Clarence Powell

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

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

An environmental study group found that there were harmful levels of a weed-killer in children's cereals as well as oats, according to anindependent laboratory report.

Tests revealed glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller brand Roundup, present in all but two of the 45 oat-derived products that were sampled by the Environmental Working Group, a public health organization.

The World Health Organization has determined that glyphosate is probably "carcinogenic to humans," this observation has led to the Environmental Protection Agency setting a safety level for the potentially unsafe chemical. The study found that Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oatmeal had the highest level of more than 1,000 parts per billion of the pesticide.

Roundup manufacturer Monsanto was ordered last week to pay US$289 million for contributing to a California man's terminal cancer. "EWG has been urging the EPA to review all evidence linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk and other adverse health effects in human and animal studies". That's not too surprising since glyphosate is banned from use in organic farming. "Quaker does not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process".

"We're very concerned that consumers are eating more glyphosate than they know", said Scott Faber, vice president of government affairs with the Environmental Working Group.

The United States Food and Drug Administration, which regulates domestic and imported food to make sure it does not exceed levels set by the E.P.A., said that based on 2016 samples, it had not found any violations of E.P.A. standards with glyphosate.

Feature Image: Glyphosate, the primary ingredient in the weed killer Roundup and one of the most widely used herbicides in agriculture.

The advocacy group's safety benchmark was 160 parts per billion.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has also determined that glyphosate is "not likely to be carcinogenic to humans".

More news: Saudi Arabia eyes enlarged stake in Musk’s private Tesla

"There's been a lot of controversy over whether this chemical actually has the ability to cause cancer".

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

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.

"In this large, prospective cohort study, no association was apparent between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall", they wrote. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 200 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on crops each year.

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

"Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels".

"Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any regulatory limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe for human consumption". 31 of these contained dangerously high levels of the chemical.

The benchmark is created to provide a framework for how much glyphosate humans can ingest daily without having potentially negative health effects.

Like this: