Weed-Killing Chemical Found in Popular Breakfast Foods

Traces fall below EPA limits
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 16, 2018 8:56 AM CDT
Weed-Killing Chemical Detected in Cheerios, Quaker Oats
Boxes of General Mills Cheerios cereal sit on display in a market in Pittsburgh on Aug. 8, 2018.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

You could be ingesting the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup for breakfast, per a report identifying traces of the chemical glyphosate in Cheerios, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, and Great Value Instant Oats, plus more products marketed to kids. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group tested 45 oat-based products like granolas and snack bars and found glyphosate in all but two, including organic products. Thirty-one exceeded 160 parts of glyphosate per billion, a level the EWG considers unsafe for children, per CNN, though the EPA's standard is far lower, with its range topping out at 310 parts per million. "Even at the highest level reported… an adult would have to eat 118 pounds of the food item every day for the rest of their life in order to reach the EPA's limit," Monsanto tells CBS News.

EWG President Ken Cook has a political response, saying this shows the EPA's "lawless" nature under President Trump. Its standards "pose real health risks to Americans–particularly children," he tells the Guardian, which hints at a larger issue, noting internal emails show the FDA has had a hard time finding food without traces of the nation's most widely used herbicide, labeled a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization. (Ice cream has it, too.) Cook says he'll push the EPA to limit glyphosate use on food crops but companies "relying on outdated safety standards" should also "step up." Quaker, Kellogg's and General Mills each maintain their products are safe, with glyphosate levels below EPA limits. (Monsanto was just dealt a heavy blow regarding the chemical.)

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