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
Farmers sprayed 2.6 billion pounds of Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide on U.S. agricultural land between 1992 and 2012, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Glyphosate has been the go-to weed killer for use on genetically engineered, or GMO, crops since the mid-1990s, when Monsanto introduced its “Roundup Ready” corn and soybeans.
One reason nine out of 10 Americans want genetically engineered, “GMO,” food to be labeled is their concern over the escalation of herbicide spraying on hundreds of millions of acres of GMO crops.
Glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s widely used herbicide Roundup – is a colorless, odorless chemical and might seem innocuous to those who spray it on crops. But in the past few months the truth has come out: This chemical can be dangerous to farmers who are exposed to it and to people living close to farming areas.
California officials want to add glyphosate, the main chemical ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, to the state’s official list of known carcinogens. This could significantly curb the weed killer’s use – not just in California but nationwide – but expect Monsanto to wage a fierce fight against the proposed regulation.
An article published today in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine by two of the nation’s most respected experts on pesticides and children’s environmental health calls for the Food and Drug Administration to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) food.
An EWG survey of athletic fields and parks in a six-state sample of small-town America shows that more than 90 percent of these recreational areas are within 1,000 feet of a corn or soybean field where two toxic weed killers could well be sprayed, meaning that anyone playing there is likely to be exposed. More than 56 percent were within 200 feet.
One of the world’s leading experts on cancer risk, Dr. Christopher Portier, told an international conference in London this week that he is certain that glyphosate, the weed killer most commonly used with genetically engineered crops or “GMOs,” can damage human DNA in ways that could lead to cancer.
The anti-labeling DARK Act sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kans.) is now also an anti-environment, anti-farmworker and anti-public health bill. The latest version could rip more than 100 laws from the books of 43 states as they pertain to genetically engineered crops, or “GMOs.”
Genetically engineered crops, commonly called “GMOs,” have led to an explosion in the use of toxic weed killers linked to cancer and other health problems – and people in America’s heartland are most at risk of exposure.
This week the House Agriculture Committee is expected to mark up and vote on a bill that would take away the right of states to label food with genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs. According to EWG, the latest draft of the measure shows it to be a bad bill that keeps getting worse.Read More
The decision by an organization of the world’s leading cancer experts to classify the herbicide 2,4-D as a possible carcinogen underscores the risk posed by the U.S. government’s recent approval of 2,4-D for use on genetically engineered, or GMO, crops, EWG said in a statement.Read More
By restricting the sale of glyphosate in garden centers, the French government is taking steps to protect its citizens from a weed killer that the World Health Organization categorizes as "probably carcinogenic to humanl,” EWG said in a statement.Read More
News that the world’s cancer experts are taking a fresh look at 2,4-D has farm organizations worried.
Does the president of Colombia care more about the health of coca cultivators than President Obama cares about the health of U.S. farmworkers?
Genetically engineered crops, or GMOs, have led to an explosion in growers’ use of herbicides, with the result that children at hundreds of elementary schools across the country go to class close by fields that are regularly doused with escalating amounts of toxic weed killers.