Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto Roundup and other widely-used herbicides, has once again been detected in popular children’s cereals.
This time, the Environmental Working Group tested 21 breakfast cereals, with the Roundup chemical turning up in all but four. The highest levels of glyphosate were detected in General Mills’ Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch at 833 ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb.
The Environmental Working Group’s health benchmark for children is 160 ppb. A child would only need to eat a single 60 gram serving of food with a glyphosate level of 160 ppb to reach the maximum glyphosate dose considered safe.
“As these latest tests show, a box of Cheerios or other oat-based foods on store shelves today almost certainly comes with a dose of a cancer-causing weed killer,” said Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., vice president for science investigations at the Environmental Working Group.
“Does General Mills really want to keep using a chemical that independent scientists say causes cancer, made by a company that three juries have found guilty of covering up its health hazards?” she continued. “Or will they listen to the growing chorus of concerned consumers calling on General Mills and other companies to remove glyphosate from the cereals kids love to eat?”
Glyphosate is the most popular weed killer in the world.
In fact, more than 250 million pounds of the Roundup chemical are sprayed on U.S. agricultural crops every year, primarily oats and soybeans that have been genetically modified to survive glyphosate exposure. However, a growing number of farms are also using the herbicide to dry out non-GMO crops, including wheat, barley, oats and beans, so they may be harvested early.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen, linking the Roundup chemical to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and other cancers.
In subsequent years, Monsanto worked aggressively to discredit the IARC review. Those efforts included funding positive glyphosate studies, and according to Roundup lawsuit plaintiffs, leveraging a close relationship with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies that later declared the chemical safe.
Bayer AG, which acquired Monsanto last June, is now defending more than 14,000 lawsuits in the United States that allege the Roundup chemical caused cancer. So far, three cases have gone to trial, with all plaintiffs winning massive verdicts.
The most recent trial concluded last month in California’s Alameda Superior Court, where the jury ordered Bayer to $2 billion to an elderly couple, both of whom were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following decades of glyphosate exposure.
Despite the stunning string of losses, Bayer has vowed to continue defending Roundup lawsuits. However, the company has also agreed to participate in court-ordered settlement negotiations led by prominent attorney Kenneth Feinberg, who previously handled successful negotiations for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund and other high-profile legal settlements.