Glyphosate: The Cancer-Causing Roundup Chemical Found in Children’s Cereal
Glyphosate is a toxic pesticide widely used on crops. The active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, it is sprayed on oats right before harvest to dry them out, so it ends up in many oat-based products, like cereals and breakfast bars.
Since there is no federal monitoring of glyphosate in oats, we wanted to know how much Roundup could be found in oat-based breakfast foods popular with children. So we commissioned independent labs to conduct three separate rounds of tests.
After an initial set of tests revealed troubling amounts of glyphosate in popular oat-based products marketed to children, we twice expanded our test to include even more products. Once again, almost all of the products had levels of glyphosate above 160 parts per billion, which is our health benchmark for glyphosate in oats.
We know it is possible to grow oats and other grains without spraying weedkiller right before the grain is harvested, which is what leads to these high levels of glyphosate.
We will continue to put pressure on companies to work with suppliers to source oats that aren’t produced with glyphosate. Harmful pesticides don’t belong in kids’ breakfast foods.
EWG’s Tests of Glyphosate in Cereal
Glyphosate in the News
Monsanto marketed its potent weed killer glyphosate – brand name Roundup -- and the corn and soybeans genetically engineered to withstand it by claiming that it would replace other, more toxic weed killers such as atrazine on American farmland
The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday (June 2) released a draft risk assessment confirming what some scientists have been warning for years: the weedkiller atrazine likely poses a risk to many animals including fish, amphibians, mammals, and birds. If finalized, the finding could lead to severe restrictions on the second-most widely used herbicide in the U.S.Read More
Remember when we warned you that Americans are at greater risk of being exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide than Europeans? Well, that might become even truer if the French government follows through with a new plan to ban some glyphosate weed killers.
Genetically modified corn and soybeans were supposed to reduce chemical use on farms, but instead they’ve done the exact opposite by creating herbicide-resistant "superweeds" and increasing the use of Monsanto’s toxic weed killer Roundup. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's internal watchdog wants to know how this chemical war on weeds is affecting human health and the environment.Read More
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said this week (March 23) it will allow farmers to plant a new strain of genetically modified (GMO) corn created by Monsanto to be tolerant of the week killers dicamba and glufosinate without government oversight, a step likely to expand the use of these chemical herbicides.Read More
The Environmental Protection Agency is falling short in its duty to protect Americans from the dangers of glyphosate, the most widely used weed killer in agriculture, according to a scientific review published online yesterday (Feb. 17) in the journal Environmental Health. The agency’s estimates of safe levels of exposure are based on outdated science, and its scientists are not sufficiently monitoring how much glyphosate is getting into food and people.
Americans are more likely than Europeans to be exposed to Monsanto’s glyphosate weed killer. That’s in large part because the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s calculations to determine allowable levels of glyphosate use are much more lax than the European Union’s.
More than 3.5 billion pounds of glyphosate herbicide have been sprayed in the U.S. since it first hit the market as Monsanto’s “Roundup” in 1974, according to a paper published today by agricultural economist Charles Benbrook in the open-access journal Environmental Sciences Europe.
As in past years, EWG asked its staff of scientists, policy analysts and governmental and communications specialists to vote on what they considered the 10 most important stories of 2015 in two categories: stories that relate specifically to agriculture and those that involve general environmental issues. The rest of the agriculture list is below. To see the staff’s ranking of general environmental stories, got to EWG’s Enviroblog.
In a stunning reversal, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has retreated from its earlier decision to let Dow AgroSciences market a new weed killer, branded Enlist Duo, which the company designed to kill hardy weeds on fields of genetically engineered corn and soybeans.Read More
The most egregious flaw of the United States’ toothless and outdated system of regulating chemicals is the failure to adequately and independently test chemicals for safety. Because of the Environmental Protection Agency’s woeful shortage of resources, manufacturers submit their own data to vouch for new chemicals, and most studies of existing chemicals are conducted by for-profit consultants selected and paid by the very companies whose products they’re evaluating.