A farmer sprays crops with glyphosate-based herbicide
18 August, 2018, 18:28
According to laboratory tests conducted by the non-profit Environmental Working Group, Glyphosate, the active ingredient found in Roundup weed killer, has been found in several popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children.
"Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization, was found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats", the report reads.
Popular children items, including General Mills' Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal, Lucky Charm's, Kellogg's Cracklin' Oat Bran and Quaker's Old Fashioned Oats, all had levels exceeding EWG's safety guidelines.
EWG is urging the EPA to review the evidence linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk and other deleterious health effects - the organization also says that the EPA should limit things like the practice of applying the chemical just before harvesting.
"As this case proceeds, Bayer believes courts ultimately will find that Monsanto and glyphosate were not responsible for Mr. Johnson's illness", the company said. A full list of tested products and their glyphosate content is available as part of the study. The IARC decision to classify the chemical as a carcinogen included a claim of a positive association between glyphosate and non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but a newer study said that there was no association.
The lawsuit opens the floodgates for more litigation against Monsanto - which denies that the weed killer causes cancer and plans to appeal the verdict - and its use of the chemical glyphosate in Roundup.
Thirty-one of the breakfast foods were found to contain levels of glyphosate that were higher than the level that EWG deems safe for children. The nonprofit wants the EPA to make its standard more stringent: "Our general stance is pesticides and herbicides really don't belong in children's food", says Alexis Temkin, a toxicologist at EWG. Glyphosate has a more than 40-year history of safe use.
General Mills responded by saying, "Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels". The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats. And 1.3 per cent of those were at levels higher than the level considered acceptable in Canada.
It is especially disappointing because these two multi-billion dollar companies can take the simple step of telling their oat farmers to stop using glyphosate as a harvest-time desiccant on their crops. "The EPA sets strict standards for safe levels of these agricultural residues and the ingredients we purchase from suppliers for our foods fall under these limits". Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, for instance, didn't have the chemical in its oats.
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