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Chemical In Some Breakfast Cereals Could Cause Cancer

Certain oat cereals, granola and other food products may contain a pesticide that could cause cancer, according to a report released by the Environmental Working Group.
Certain oat cereals, granola and other food products may contain a pesticide that could cause cancer, according to a report released by the Environmental Working Group. Photo Credit: Environmental Working Group.

Select oat cereals, granola and other food products may contain a pesticide that could cause cancer, according to a report released by the Environmental Working Group.

Glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer by scientists in California and the World Health Organization was found in 43 of 45 samples of oat products in an independent test commissioned by the organization.

According to the report, “Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup, the Monsanto weed killer that is the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S. Last week, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man dying of cancer, which he says was caused by his repeated exposure to large quantities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers while working as a school groundskeeper.”

In response, the EWG tested more than a dozen brands of oat-based products to determine if high levels of Glyphosate was present.

The EWG noted that each year, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops, primarily on “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. But when it comes to the food we eat, the highest glyphosate levels are not found in products made with GMO corn.

Among the items tested include:

  • Nature's Path Organic Honey Almond granola;
  • Back to Nature Classic Granola;
  • Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds;
  • Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters;
  • Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats 'n Honey;
  • Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds;
  • Instant Oats Giant Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor;
  • Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original;
  • Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal;
  • Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal;
  • Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan;
  • Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream;
  • Oat Breakfast Cereal Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal;
  • Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal;
  • Lucky Charms;
  • Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal;
  • Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal;
  • Snack Bar Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar;
  • Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut;
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'n Honey;
  • Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar;
  • Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry;
  • Whole Oats 365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats;
  • Quaker Steel Cut Oats;
  • Quaker Old Fashioned Oats;
  • Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats;
  • Nature's Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats;
  • Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats;
  • Bob's Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats.

The highest levels, greater than 1,000 ppb, were detected in two samples of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. Three samples of Cheerios had glyphosate levels ranging from 470 ppb to 530 ppb. Twelve of the food samples had levels of glyphosate lower than EWG’s health benchmark, ranging from 10 ppb to 120 ppb. Only two samples had no detectable glyphosate.

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