Your children may be eating a Monsanto-made carcinogenic chemical in their morning cereal bowl that’s been known to cause cancer.

On Wednesday morning, CBS News reported that trace amounts of glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto weed killer Roundup — have been found in various oat-based foods like granola and breakfast cereal. In the Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) testing of 45 different samples, 31 samples had amounts of glyphosate that were considered unsafe for consumption by children.

The EWG’s study stated that while a “safe” amount of glyphosate to consume would be less than 160 parts per billion (ppb), many of the foods tested had amounts far higher than that. Cheerios toasted whole grain oat cereal, for example, showed glyphosate levels from 470 ppb to 530 ppb, which is roughly three times more than the amount considered safe for consumption. Lucky Charms, which is targeted at children, had as much as 400 ppb in one sample (marshmallows were removed from the Lucky Charms sample for more accurate testing). The only oat-based breakfast cereal EWG tested in which no glyphosate was detected was Kashi Heart to Heart organic honey toasted cereal.

Most granola bars tested had glyphosate levels less than 160 ppb, but Nature Valley’s Oats n’ Honey Crunchy Granola bars had as much as 340 ppb in the first sample EWG tested — more than twice the amount of glyphosate considered safe for consumption. Quaker Old Fashioned Oats had the most glyphosate in EWG’s testing, with levels at 1300 ppb in the third sample.





Glyphosate levels in various breakfast foods tested by the Environmental Working Group (Chart by EWG)

Monsanto defended the safety of their product, stating on their website that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer.

“To help farmers protect their crops from weeds, Monsanto offers a variety of solutions. One of our popular products is called glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup branded agricultural herbicides,” the company stated. “Farmers, as well as homeowners and others, have been using Roundup and other glyphosate products for more than 40 years.”

However, leading health experts agreed with EWG’s assessment about the danger of consuming too much glyphosate. The World Health Organization has called the chemical a “probable carcinogen,” and California has officially labeled Monsanto’s weed-killer as “known to the state to cause cancer.”

The study doesn’t bode well for Monsanto (now owned by Bayer), which just had to pay a $289 million settlement to the family of a man who was killed by cancer developed from using Monsanto’s Roundup in his job as a school groundskeeper. As of 5:30 PM Eastern Time, Bayer’s stock had dropped to €80.79 per share ($91.68 USD). The stock dropped precipitously after the settlement was announced and hasn’t yet shown any signs of recovery.

Monsanto parent company Bayer’s stock price over the last five days (Image by Google)

Click here to read EWG’s glyphosate study.


Logan Espinoza is a freelance contributor specializing in economic issues. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife and daughter. Contact him at logan DOT espinoza AT yahoo DOT com.

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