How popular cereals put children’s health at risk



June 14, 2019 -- In the latest round of testing, commissioned by Environmental Working Group's scientists found the weed-killer glyphosate (cancer-causing ingredient) in all 21 popular cereal and snack products it sampled. All but four cereal products contained levels of glyphosate greater than what EWG scientists consider safe for children's health with a sufficient margin of safety.

Multiple research case-studies overwhelmingly demonstrated the toxicity of glyphosate, a weed-killer found in cereals and other food products that adults and kids love.

What is glyphosate, and why it should be banned?

Glyphosate, also known as Roundup, is an herbicide widely used in the world, as being applied in several crops. Referring to the U.S Geological Survey Report, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on American crops each year. Glyphosate is also sprayed exactly before harvest on beans, wheat, oats, and barley. It kills the crop, drying it out to harvest them sooner than if the plant were allowed to die naturally.

In 2015, part of the World Health Organization, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), reviewed extensive Canadian, Swedish, and U.S epidemiological studies on glyphosate's human health effects, as well as research on laboratory animals. The IARC classified this chemical as probably carcinogenic to humans. 

In 2017, California also listed glyphosate in its "proposition 65 registry of chemicals" known to cause cancer.

Moreover, another study published in the Journal of Food additives and contaminants demonstrated that glyphosate is also the main contributor to several other diseases such as autism, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease.

A company named Monsanto own records exposed damning truth of glyphosate-based herbicides' link to cancer. And due to its damages, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million to a man dying of cancer, which was caused by his repeated exposure to large quantities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers.

Why are children more vulnerable to glyphosate toxicity?

Referring to a study published in German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment; when compared to adults, infants (<12 months) and young children (1-3 years) are more susceptible to effects of the presence of pesticides through diet, because they are in the developmental stage and have higher food intake per kilogram of body weight.

Cereals contaminated with glyphosate, the EWG report June 2019

The U.S Food and Drug Administration stated that the standard safe tolerance level of glyphosate ranges from 0.1 parts per million to 310 ppm. While the Environment Working Group sets safe tolerance for children under the benchmark of 160 ppb.

But the latest round of testing, commissioned by Environmental Working Group's scientists, found the glyphosate in all 21 popular cereal and snack products it sampled. All but four products contained levels of glyphosate higher than what EWG scientists consider protective for children's health with a sufficient margin of safety.

The worst product was General Mills' Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, which clocked in at 833 parts per billion, or ppb, of glyphosate. In second place was General Mills' Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal, which tested at 729 ppb of glyphosate.

The best-testing product was Nature Valley Fruit & Nut, and Dark Chocolate & Nut, Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, at 76 ppb of glyphosate, which is below EWG's children's health benchmark of 160 ppb of glyphosate.

Products containing highest Glyphosate concentration

Product Variety

Glyphosate (ppb)

Safe value (160ppb)

Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch

833

Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal

729

Nature Valley Crunchy granola bars, Maple Brown Sugar

566

Nature Valley Granola Cups, Almond Butter

529

Products containing considerable low Glyphosate concentration

Product Variety

Glyphosate (ppb)

Safe value (160ppb)

Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate & Nut

76

Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares, Cinnamon Brown Sugar

124

Honey Nut Cheerios

147

Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut granola bars, Cashew

158

Adopted From: Environment Working Group, tests in June 2019

Final Thoughts

Toxic glyphosate is avoidable in some cases. Try to use oats from farmers who do not use glyphosate as a desiccant or buy organic cereals, whenever possible. If you’re ready to do more, sign a petition to remove this cancer-causing weedkiller from foods marketed to children quickly.


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