Alarm bells have been rung on a dangerous substance found in an extremely popular cereal.
According to Fox News, at least 28 samples of popular oat-based cereals and snack bars made by General Mills and Quaker contained glyphosate. This is the active ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.
The disturbing news came out from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in a new study released this week. The EWG, a nonprofit advocacy group, said Wednesday it “detected glyphosate in all 28 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats."
They also reported that all but two of the 28 samples tested “had levels of glyphosate above EWG’s health benchmark of 160 parts per billion, or ppb.”
Most disturbing was Quaker Oatmeal Squares. The breakfast cereal had a level of the herbicide that was “nearly 18 times higher than EWG’s children’s health benchmark.”
However, while the EWG says the levels are unsafe, they are within the levels allowed by the EPA and FDA. However, the EWG fought back against this.
“But just because something is legal doesn’t mean it’s safe,” the EWG argued. “Federal government standards for pesticides in food are often outdated, not based on the best and most current science. The EPA’s standards for pesticides and other chemicals are also heavily influenced by lobbying from industry."
In 2015, the World Health Organization said that the herbicide glyphosate, along with insecticides malathion and diazinon, are “probably carcinogenic to humans,” adding there was “limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and prostate cancer" for malathion. "Limited evidence," in reference to the World Health Organization's report, means researchers have determined there is a “positive association” between exposure to glyphosate and cancer, but said, “other explanations for the observations (called chance, bias, or confounding) could not be ruled out.”
In 2017, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment announced glyphosate “would be added to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer.”
However, Quaker stands behind their product. They explained how the herbicide ends up in their product.
“We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products,” a Quaker spokesperson said in a statement. The spokesperson added the company does not “add glyphosate during any part of the milling process” and noted the herbicide is commonly used by farmers prior to harvest.
“Once the oats are transported to us, we put them through our rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulling, cleaning, roasting and flaking),” the spokesperson said. “Any minimal levels of glyphosate that may remain in finished products where oats are an ingredient are significantly below regulatory limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, Health Canada and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe for human consumption.”
A General Mills spokesperson echoed Quaker. They wrote, “The extremely low levels of pesticide residue cited in recent news reports is a tiny fraction of the amount that the government allows."