Many breakfast cereals still test positive for Roundup, new report confirms

Of the 21 oat-based cereals tested, all but four tested contained a level of glyphosate that is higher than deemed safe for children by scientists at Environmental Working Group.

Image Credit: Etienne Voss/Getty

The Environmental Working Group published a new report confirming that many best-selling cereals tested positive for glyphosate, an herbicide used in Monsanto’s weed killer, Roundup. Of the 21 oat-based cereals tested, all but four tested contained a level of glyphosate that is higher than deemed safe for children by scientists at EWG.

According to the report, this is the third round of testing, which is funded by organic food companies. The first two tests were conducted in August and then again in October 2018.

EWG’s safe level benchmark for glyphosate when it comes to consumption by children is 160 parts per billion (ppb). General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch and Cheerios both tested the highest for glyphosate at 833 ppb and 729 ppb respectively.

“As these latest tests show, a box of Cheerios or other oat-based foods on store shelves today almost certainly comes with a dose of a cancer-causing weedkiller,” Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at EWG, said.

According to a press release, “more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on crops in the U.S., mostly on Roundup ready corn and soybeans genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. Increasingly, however, glyphosate is applied to non-GMO wheat, barley, oats and beans. The weedkiller kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner.”

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“Does General Mills really want to keep using a chemical that independent scientists say causes cancer, made by a company that three juries have found guilty of covering up its health hazards?,”Naidenko said. “Or will they listen to the growing chorus of concerned consumers calling on General Mills and other companies to remove glyphosate from the cereals kids love to eat?”

While glyphosate’s toxicity is still unknown, but was classified “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization in 2015, the manufacturers of the cereals said their products are safe as no case of cancer from consumer cereals has yet to surface. They also claim that because EWG created its own standard of toxicity and its studies have never been peer reviewed or published in a scientific journal, they can’t be held to the group’s standard when they are in compliance with the EPA.