An ingredient of the weedkiller Roundup has been found in a variety of children’s breakfast cereals. According to Fox News Chicago, traces of the weed-killing chemical glyphosate have been found in …
An ingredient of the weedkiller Roundup has been found in a variety of children’s breakfast cereals. According to Fox News Chicago, traces of the weed-killing chemical glyphosate have been found in a number of children’s popular breakfast cereals including Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Quaker Oats.
The chemical was detected in a study by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit organization. EWG tested over a dozen brands of oat-based foods. Approximately three-fourths of the tested samples contained levels of glyphosate that were higher than what EWG scientists say is safe for children’s health.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time glyphosate has been found in U.S. food. In April, the nonprofit organization US Right to Know found that the Food and Drug Administration had been testing food for glyphosate for up to two years.
The FDA’s internal emails, obtained by US Right to Know, reportedly contained information that proved many oat-based foods contained a fair amount of glyphosate. The organization failed to release its findings to the public.
Glyphosate was first identified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization in 2015. Children’s foods that contain these high levels of glyphosate include General Mills’ Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran, and Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.
Spokespersons with both Quaker and Kellogg’s said the brands don’t add glyphosate during their milling processes. Glyphosate, they said, is commonly used by farmers who apply the chemical pre-harvest.
The EWG’s findings were published in a report only days after a Superior Court of California awarded $289 million to a San Francisco groundskeeper. Dewayne “Lee” Johnson filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Company for failing to label their weed-killing product Roundup as dangerous.
Johnson used Roundup, which includes the chemical glyphosate, for over two years before developing terminal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Jurors ruled in favor of Johnson, concluding that Roundup and Ranger Pro products present a substantial danger to users.
Johnson’s case is only the first among more than 4,000 lawsuits filed against Monsanto for similar medical reasons. Monsanto plans to appeal the court’s decision on the case and says that more than 800 scientific studies and reviews, including those by the EPA, say that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer.
Whether or not glyphosate definitely causes cancer, it’s still important that adults undergo cancer screening regularly whether in a doctor’s office or self-checking. Screening helps to detect cancer when it’s still in the early stages.
For instance, between one to two lives can be saved for every 1,000 men who undergo a prostate-specific antigen test.
Cancer screening and early detection are also important financially. Up to 45 million Americans are living below the poverty line and 36% of children in New Jersey alone live in low-income households.
Cancer care can be incredibly expensive. And if the family chooses to buy a service or therapy dog (there are up to 75 million pet dogs in the U.S.), the price can be even higher. The average price for a service dog $17,000.
That said, cancer screening is critical. Still, Dr. Olga Naidenko, the senior science adviser for EWG, says that regardless how much a child or adult would need to eat of the chemical to reach the EPA limit, glyphosate doesn’t belong in children’s food.
What’s more, there have been detectable levels of glyphosate in people’s urine due to dietary exposure. “And tests show that glyphosate levels in American’s bodies have been rising over time,” Naidenko said.