The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed the presence of glyphosate in a variety of oat products, including oat cereals for babies.
Recently the USDA started testing U.S. foods for glyphosate, the active ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup and which has been linked to cancer. Last year the World Health Organization released a report by a group of international cancer experts that stated glyphosate is probably a human carcinogen.
Despite these recent findings, Roundup continues to be the most heavily used weed killer in the world. The EPA still maintains that glyphosate is “not likely” to cause cancer.
An FDA chemist presented the data at a meeting in July. According to the findings, residues of glyphosate were found in several types of infant oat cereal, including banana strawberry as well as cinnamon spice, maple brown sugar, and peach and cream instant oatmeal products. The range of detection was nothing in several organic oat products to 1.67 parts per million in non-organic varieties.
The current safe levels for glyphosate in oats, as suggested by the EPA, is 30 ppm. The levels detected in the findings fall within this range. In 2013 Monsanto requested and received higher tolerances for many foods. In the European Union, the tolerance levels are much lower. For example, the tolerance for glyphosate in oats is only 20 ppm.
Glyphosate is widely used by oat farmers in the U.S. According to the EPA, about 100,000 pounds of glyphosate are used annually in the production of U.S. oats.
The FDA’s sudden testing for glyphosate in foods came about earlier this year after independent researchers had already conducted their own testing and found glyphosate in a wide variety of foods.
Monsanto and U.S. regulators maintain that all of these findings show that glyphosate levels in our food are too low to cause any health concerns, but many believe that food will need to continue to be routinely tested to maintain safe levels. Besides that, some foods in the United States do not have a legal tolerance level. For example, honey does not have a legal tolerance level, yet when tested earlier this year every sample came back with traces of glyphosate, some with residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union.