A study of dozens of popular oat-based breakfast foods delivered sobering news this week when nearly all of the products examined by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) were found to contain the chemical glyphosate.
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's weed-killing herbicide, Roundup, has been found in a range of breakfast foods marketed to US children. They pointed out that the evidence definitively linking the glyphosate in Roundup to cancer is scant. Producing healthy, wholesome food is Quaker's number one priority, and we've been doing that for more than 140 years.
The France-based International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, classified glyphosate as a "probable human carcinogen" in 2015.
Glyphosate rich Roundup is the most popular and widely used pesticide in the U.S. It didn't matter what the EPA says, the Environmental Protection Agency or the European Food Safety Agency (ph).
According to Fortune, the most concerning results were found in Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, which had levels higher than 1,000 parts per billion (ppb) - EWG's safety benchmark is 160ppb. "We continue to work closely with farmers, our suppliers and conservation organizations to minimize the use of pesticides on the crops and ingredients we use in our foods", General Mills added.
General Mills responded by saying, "Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels".
While the cereals used in the study exceeded the Environmental Working Group standard, none of them come close to surpassing the EPA standard.
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In April, internal emails obtained by the nonprofit US Right to Know revealed that the Food and Drug Administration has been testing food for glyphosate for two years and has found "a fair amount", but the FDA has not released its findings.
"Australian farmers can continue to use glyphosate in accordance with the instructions of the label, knowing it is safe to do so".
"I was shocked", said Dr. Jennifer Lowry, who heads the Council on Environmental Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics.
However, the levels that EWG considers to be high doesn't violate the legal limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Once the oats are transported to us, we put them through our rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulled, cleaned, roasted and flaked). Scientists point out that even organic oats corn and soy can all be contaminated if they sit next to fields where glyphosate is sprayed or if they are processed on the same equipment as conventionally grown oats.