Weed-killing chemical found in many cereals, oat products, report says
A number of popular breakfast cereals, generally considered to be healthy for you, have been shown to contain harmful levels of a weed killer linked to cancer, a new study finds.
The lab work and analysis by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found trace amounts of glyphosate in a number of products including Cheerios and Quaker Oats granola bars.
Glyphosate is the active chemical ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer.
Last week, a jury awarded $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who claimed Monsanto's popular Roundup weed killer contributed to his terminal cancer.
Scientists tested 29 products and found that almost three-quarters of the samples they tested contained higher levels of glyphosate than deemed safe, according to the report.
“That does not mean, ‘Stop eating this bowl of Cheerios right now!’ But then when you think about how people eat these oats,” Olga Naidenko, senior science adviser at EWG told Mother Jones. "That’s when those numbers start to come into concern.”
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the country due to the widespread adoption of GMOs. According to the IARC, the herbicide has additional chemical ingredients that are "probably carcinogenic to humans.
Monsanto (which is now owned by Bayer) said on Monday it planned to challenge the verdict on the grounds that the judge should have barred scientific evidence.
"More than 800 scientific studies, the US EPA, the National Institutes of Health and regulators around the world have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer," said a company representative.
The full list of products tested and results from the EWG is available below:
Potentially unsafe levels of glyphosate
- Back to Nature Classic Granola
- Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal
- Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
- Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal
- Giant Instant Oatmeal Original Flavor
- Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal
- Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal
- Lucky Charms (without marshmallows)
- Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'n Honey
- Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats 'n Honey
- Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal
- Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
- Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisin and Almonds
- Quaker Steel Cut Oats
- Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan
Safe levels of glyphosate
- Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters
- Bob's Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
- Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry
- KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
- Nature's Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats
- Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats
No glyphosate detected
- 365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
- Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar
- Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal
- Nature's Path Organic Honey Almond granola
- Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original
|Type of Food||Product Name||Glyphosate (ppb)*|
|Sample 1||Sample 2||Sample 3|
|Granola||Nature's Path Organic Honey Almond granola||ND**||ND|
|Back to Nature Classic Granola||620||170|
|Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds||430||400|
|Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters||30||30||340|
|Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats 'n Honey||220||170|
|KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds||50||60|
|Instant Oats||Giant Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor||760|
|Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original||ND||ND|
|Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal||620||780|
|Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal||450|
|Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan||220||220|
|Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream||120||520|
|Oat Breakfast Cereal||Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal||ND||ND|
|Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal||490||470||530|
|Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal||340||300|
|Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal||250||120|
|Snack Bar||Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar||ND||ND|
|KIND Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut||ND||120|
|Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'n Honey||340||120|
|Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar||120||160|
|Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry||30||80|
|Whole Oats||365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats||ND||ND|
|Quaker Steel Cut Oats||530||290|
|Quaker Old Fashioned Oats||390||1100||1300|
|Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats||300||ND|
|Nature's Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats||30||20|
|Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats||10||40|
|Bob's Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (4 samples tested)||ND||10||20, 20***|
Source: EWG, from tests by Eurofin Analytical Laboratories
*EWG's child-protective health benchmark for daily exposure to glyphosate in food is 160 ppb.
** ND = none detected
*** Two product samples tested both had 20 ppb glyphosate concentration.
**** Lucky Charms Frosted Toasted Oat Cereal with Marshmallows. Marshmallows were manually removed from the samples prior to shipping to the lab and testing for glyphosate.