A report from the Environmental Working Group on Wednesday said it found unsafe amounts of the herbicide glyphosate in a range of popular foods, from PepsiCo's Quaker Old Fashioned Oats to General Mills' Cheerios.
Both the Quaker Oats Company and General Mills, the maker of Cheerios, disagree with the EWG report's results, defending their products as safe to consume.
The highest level detected, 1,300 parts per billion, was in a sample of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.
The Environmental Working Group commissioned independent laboratory tests for glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer, on more than a dozen brands of oat-based foods. The EWG also tested 16 cereals made with organically-grown oats. "No one wants to eat a weed killer for breakfast, and no one should have to do so".
But briefly, among other things, the World Health Organization says that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans". The group cites internal emails obtained by US Right to Know that showed the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food for glyphosate for two years and has found "a fair amount". "The government must take steps to protect our most vulnerable populations".
The report comes a week after a court awarded $289 million to a former Monsanto groundskeeper who said he'd developed cancer after being exposed to glyphosate at his job.
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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. California lists it as a chemical "known to the state to cause cancer". But for the average person who uses it occasionally for yard work, are Roundup and other weed killers still safe to use?
Apple, iPhone, and iPad are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the USA and other countries. This extra dousing is done to hasten drying of the grain and allows farmers to harvest crops as much as two weeks earlier than they normally would. It can also be used on produce such as spinach and almonds.
Glyphosate was even found in a few organic products, though most had non-detectable levels. The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats. "And depending on weather patterns it could drift into their farms and get onto their foods", she said.
Quaker Oats released a statement, "We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products".
We expect better from General Mills and Quaker Oats, and we will continue to urge consumers to express their preference with their pocketbooks.
"According to the EPA, people should avoid consuming more than 2 mg of glyphosate for every kilogram of body weight", Alex Berezow, senior fellow of biomedical science at the American Council on Science and Health, a nonprofit group that says it advocates for evidence-based science and medicine, told CNN. EWG concluded that children should eat no more than 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate a day, or 160 parts per billion in a single serving.