The Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment, recently published the results of a study that revealed that the herbicide Roundup was detected in all 21 of the oat-based cereals and snack products that it tested. All but four of these products contained levels of glyphosate that are higher that what EWS scientists consider protective for children’s health with a sufficient margin of safety.
Environmental Working Group Study
EWG’s recent study confirms the tests that they conducted in July and October of last year. The prior tests found that levels of glyphosate were consistently above EWG’s children’s health benchmark of 160 parts per billion (ppb).
Glyphosate is one of the active ingredients in Bayer-Monsanto’s weed killer, Roundup, and similar herbicides. Glyphosate regulates plant growth and speeds up crop ripening in broadleaf plants and grasses. People can be exposed to glyphosate by breathing it in, eating food that was treated with it, or absorbing it through their skin.
Some popular food products that were found to have high levels of glyphosate include:
- Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch – 833 ppb
- Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal – 729 ppb
- Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars, Maple Brown Sugar – 566 ppb
- Nature Valley Granola Cups, Almond Butter – 529 ppb
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios – 400 ppb
- Nature Valley Baked Oat Bites – 389 ppb
- Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars, Oats and Honey – 320 ppb
- Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars, Peanut Butter – 312 ppb
- Nature Valley Granola Cups, Peanut Butter Chocolate – 297 ppb
- Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon – 283 ppb
- Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate Cherry – 275 ppb
- Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats n Dark Chocolate – 261 ppb
The Expert Debate
In 2015, an agency within the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, found that glyphosate is a possible carcinogen. In 2017, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, released a study that confirmed and strengthened the cancer agency’s research.
In California, the chemical is a Group 2A carcinogen, which means that there is sufficient evidence that it causes cancer in animals used in experiments and is probably carcinogenic to humans. “[Glyphosate] is known to the state of California to cause cancer,” said Sam Delson, the deputy director for external and legislative affairs at the Office of Environmental Health and Hazard.
Not all experts agree that glyphosate is a carcinogen. The Environmental Protection Agency, the agency that creates the legal limits on pesticide residues, has stated that glyphosate does not pose a public health risk. In April, EPA scientists concluded that there is “no risk to human health from current uses of glyphosate” and “no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer.”
Environmental experts complain that the EPA disregarded mounting evidence associating glyphosate with cancer risk. In addition, the scientific journal, Environmental Sciences Europe, found that the conclusions reached by EPA and the International Agency for Research on Cancer differed because the EPA relied mainly on studies conducted in-house by Monsanto or contracted by EPA with an outside lab.