By Kim Robson:
If you’ve been reading Green Mom articles for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that we are not fans of Big Agribusiness giant Monsanto and their signature product, Roundup weed killer. Recently, a cancer patient who’d used Roundup extensively in his job as a groundskeeper won a $286 million-dollar court settlementfrom Monsanto, who is appealing the verdict. Monsanto has used strong-arm tactics against farmerswho refuse to purchase their “Roundup-ready” seeds every year. Pesticide driftis responsible for Roundup’s existence even in organic crops. The dangerous chemical glyphosate (Roundup’s main ingredient) also has been appearing in air and water samples.
Sadly then, it should come as no surprise to hear that glyphosate is now popping up in a variety of popular children’s breakfast cereals and oat products.
Cell research has shown that glyphosate acts as an endocrine disrupter, exhibiting estrogenic-like carcinogenicity, even in the parts-per-trillion(ppt) range. Glyphosate has been linked toreproductive disorders and horrifying birth defects; ADHD; Alzheimer’s; Parkinson’s; respiratory, heart, kidney and liver diseases; colitis; ALS; MS; hypothyroidism; diabetes; autism; and cancers of the brain, breast and lymph. There is little to no research on its effects on young children.
According to a March 2015 reportby the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer(IARC), glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans. For the herbicide glyphosate, there was limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans for non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The evidence in humans is from studies of exposures, mostly agricultural, in the USA, Canada, and Sweden published since 2001. In addition, there is convincing evidence that glyphosate also can cause cancer in laboratory animals.”
Independent laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group(EWG) determined that glyphosate is being found in a number of popular oat-based cereals, granola, oatmeal and snack bars. Glyphosate was found in 43 of 45 samples of products made with conventionally-grown oats. Over two thirds contained glyphosate levels higher than those considered acceptable by EWG scientists, whose child-protective health benchmark for daily exposure of ingested glyphosate is 160 parts per billion (ppb) — one popular brand of oats contained 1300 ppb!
EWG President Ken Cook says, “We will petition the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to do its job and end uses of glyphosate that resulted in the contamination we report today. But we very much doubt our petition will be acted upon by President Trump’s lawless EPA. So we’re calling on the companies to make these iconic products with clean ingredients.” The EPA has calculated that one- to two-year-old children are likely to have the highest exposure, at a level twice greater than California’s No Significant Risk Level and 230 times EWG’s health benchmark.
You can read EWG’s full report here, but listed here are the products that were found to contain glyphosate and their levels in parts per billion (levels over 160 ppb are bolded):
- Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal — 497ppb average between 3 samples
- Lucky Charms Frosted Toasted Oat Cereal with Marshmallows (marshmallows were manually removed from the samples prior to lab testing) — 315ppb average between 2 samples
- Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal — 185ppb average between 2 samples
- Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal — 320ppb average between 2 samples
- Back to Nature Classic Granola — 395ppb average between 2 samples
- Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds — 415ppb average between 2 samples
- Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters — 133 ppb average between 3 samples
- Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats ‘n Honey — 195ppb average between 2 samples
- KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds — 55 ppb average between 2 samples
- Giant Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor — 760ppb in 1 sample
- Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal — 700ppb average between 2 samples
- Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal — 450ppb in 1 sample
- Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan — 220ppb average between 2 samples
- Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream — 320ppb average between 2 samples
- KIND Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut — 120 ppb in 1 sample, none detected in 2ndsample
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats ‘n Honey — 230ppb average between 2 samples
- Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar — 140 ppb average between 2 samples
- Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry — 55 ppb average between 2 samples
- Quaker Steel Cut Oats — 410ppb average between 2 samples
- Quaker Old Fashioned Oats — 930ppb average between 3 samples
- Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats — 300ppb in 1 sample, none detected in 2ndsample
- Nature’s Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats — 25 ppb average between 2 samples
- Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats — 25 ppb average between 2 samples
- Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats — 12.5 ppb average between 4 samples
The following products were found to have NO detectable levels of glyphosate in ANY samples tested:
- Nature’s Path Organic Honey Almond granola
- Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original
- Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal
- Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar
- 365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
Organic oats fared much better in the sampling: only thirty percent of organic oat products tested were found to contain glyphosate, most likely due to pesticide drift. None of those exceeded the 160 ppb level. Pesticides don’t belong in our children’s food. Opting for organically-grown foods is always our best choice.