EWG News Roundup (8/17): Breakfast with a Dose of Roundup, Protecting Salon Workers and More

This week, EWG released a groundbreaking study that tested popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars for glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer by California state scientists and the World Health Organization – and the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. EWG found that all but two of the 45 conventional samples tested detected the herbicide – including iconic brands such as Cheerios and Quaker Old Fashioned Oats.

EWG called on the companies whose products had unsafe levels of the contaminant to ensure their oat suppliers would cease use of glyphosate as a desiccant to kill oats pre-harvest. Instead of welcoming the change in their supply chains, a number of the companies featured in the report responded with tone-deaf statements attempting to discredit the findings.

EWG has long argued that the Environmental Protection Agency’s dietary exposure limit and California’s No Significant Risk Levels for glyphosate exposure are too high. That’s why EWG has set a children’s health protective, maximum daily intake benchmark for glyphosate at 160 parts per billion, or ppb. Our study found 31 out of 45 conventional samples, and none of the 16 organic samples, tested above this level.

In other news, EWG applauded the California State Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committee for passing a bill that would protect salon workers from harmful chemical exposures in the products they use on a daily basis. The bill now goes to the full Calif. Senate before being signed into law.

As folks enjoy these final few weeks of summer, they may come to realize that their favorite lakes, rivers and streams are being plagued with harmful algal outbreaks. This issue has exploded over the past few years and EWG is keeping a watchful eye on recently developed blooms across the nation. Be sure to check out EWG’s interactive map that keeps track of all publicized algal blooms since 2015.

Finally, EWG highlighted a recent report that explores the growth of the clean energy sector in the Great Lakes region as well as the expansion of the job market that comes along with those new opportunities.

For coverage on these developments and more, here’s some news you can use going into the weekend.

Glyphosate in Oats

CBS: Weed-killing chemical linked to cancer found in some children's breakfast foods

A new report found glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities link to cancer, in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children. The study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars. Thirty-one out of 45 tested products had levels higher than what some scientists consider safe for children. Reprinted 42 times.


CNN: Unsafe levels of a weed killer chemical in oat products, report says

Some types of oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars contain higher levels of a chemical found in the weed killer Roundup than what the Environmental Working Group considers safe, according to a report released Wednesday by the advocacy group. Reprinted 113 times.


NBC – TODAY: Report finds traces of weed killer in Cheerios, Quaker Oats

The Environmental Working Group is claiming that potentially harmful levels of glyphosate, a weed killer linked to cancer, have been found in a number of foods, including Cheerios and Quaker Oats. General Mills and Quaker Oats say the levels of the chemical remain within regulatory limits. TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie reports.


The New York Times: Report Finds Traces of a Controversial Herbicide in Cheerios and Quaker Oats

In its report, released Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group said that it tested 45 samples of breakfast foods made from oats grown in fields sprayed with herbicides. Then, using a strict standard the group developed, it found elevated levels of glyphosate in 31 of them.


FOX News: Roundup ingredient found in Cheerios, Quaker Oats, and other cereals

Lab tests conducted by the left-leaning Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit advocacy group that specializes in toxic chemicals and corporate accountability, indicated almost three-fourths of the 45 food products tested detected high levels of glyphosate, which has been identified as a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization in 2015.


Bloomberg: Bayer Shares Slide as Legal Troubles Mount Over Herbicides

Glyphosate, the main chemical in Roundup, was found in popular oat cereals, whole oats and breakfast bars in an Environmental Working Group  report issued on Wednesday, the New York Times reported. The organization found the chemical in 43 of the 45 samples it tested from conventionally grown oats, and in five of the 16 samples it tested from organic products.


Detroit Free Press: Report: Oatmeal, breakfast foods contain unsafe amounts of weed killer

The Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy organization that conducted the study, said Wednesday that glyphosate was found in all but five of 29 oat-based foods that were tested. Reprinted by the Chicago TribuneUSA Today (national) and reprinted by 101 other media outlets.


Detroit Free Press: Weed killer in breakfast cereals: How dangerous is it?

The report, from the nonprofit Environmental Working Group, or EWG, comes a week after Roundup producer and agricultural giant Monsantowas ordered to pay nearly $300 million to a groundskeeper who alleged his use of the weed killer on the job had given him cancer.


Fortune: Roundup Weed Killer Chemical Found in Cheerios and Quaker Oats

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) on Wednesday released the results of a test it conducted on popular oat-based products, like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Kind Bars, Nature Valley bars, and others, to determine whether they contained any of the herbicide glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, and at high levels, has been linked to cancer. Reprinted by TIME and Yahoo! Finance.


The Guardian: Weedkiller found in wide range of breakfast foods aimed at children

Tests revealed glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller brand Roundup, present in all but two of the 45 oat-derived products that were sampled by the Environmental Working Group, a public health organization.


The Hill: Group finds weed-killing chemical in dozens of breakfast foods

A widely used herbicide that has been labeled a carcinogen by some organizations has been found in a number of breakfast foods, a new study found. In tests of 45 products made from oats, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that all but two had traces of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. Reprinted by the Democrat Underground.


HuffPost Canada: Cheerios, Quaker Oats, Contain Roundup Chemical Glyphosate Linked To Cancer: Report

Popular oat-based cereals and snack bars contain unsafe levels of the chemical found in the herbicide Roundup, advocacy organizationEnvironmental Working Group (EWG) claims in a report released Wednesday. The group's test of 61 different oat-based cereals, granola bars and snack bars found that more than half of them contained glyphosate at levels higher than what they consider "protective of children's health."


MorningStar – Dow Jones: Bayer Shares Suffer as Bad News Mounts Up

On Wednesday, media reported that glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in Roundup, had been found in a range of breakfast foods aimed at children, according to U.S. public health organization Environmental Working Group. 


Mother Jones: The Roundup Chemical Found Responsible for Cancer Might Also Be in Your Oatmeal

report released this morning by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) focused specifically on residue in food products containing oats. It found that many common breakfast cereals and snacks contain levels of glyphosate that it deems harmful, though the Environmental Protection Agency may not.


PEOPLE Magazine: General Mills Responds to Report of Cancer-Linked Chemical Found in Its Cereals

The finding was published by the Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that has been fighting against the use of glyphosate in herbicides that could end up in food products. “Just because a pesticide level is legal in food doesn’t mean that level is safe,” the group said in response to the companies’ statements, adding: “General Mills and Quaker Oats should volunteer to meet real health standards and make the effort to remove glyphosate from their products.”


POLITICO – Morning Agriculture: Glyphosate found in popular foods

The herbicide glyphosate was found in all but two of 45 sampled products made with oats, such as cereals, granola bars and oatmeal, according to a study from the Environmental Working Group. About three quarters of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what the nonprofit’s scientists consider safe for children. 


VICE – Munchies: Well, This Sucks: Monsanto's Weed Killer Found in Cheerios, Lucky Charms

Sorry, kids (and kids-at-heart)—it's 2018, and even Cheerios are tainted. According to a study conducted by the Environmental Working Group released this morning, there’s a very good chance your morning cereal has traces of the potentially cancer-causing chemical glyphosate, better known as the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. 


Mic: A new report says traces of Monsanto pesticide found in many popular, oat-based breakfast foods 

While it’s not printed anywhere on their ingredients list, some of America’s most popular breakfast foods contain pesticides. On Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group published a report from a commissioned laboratory test of 45 products made with oats, finding glyphosate, an herbicide that has been linked to cancer, in nearly all of them. 


POPSUGAR: Check Your Pantries: New Study Suggests Weed Killer May Be in Your Kid's Breakfast Food

new report conducted by the Environmental Working Group recently found that a number of breakfast foods and cereals may contain trace amounts of glyphosate, a commonly used weed-killing chemical that has been linked to cancer.


Quartz: Your wholesome breakfast of oats may include weed killer

Today (Aug. 15), the Environmental Working Group released a study that tested 61 oat products, including oatmeal, granola and granola bars, for glyphosate. Of the 45 items made with conventionally grown oats, 43 tested positive, with 31 above the EWG’s threshold for safety. Five of the organic products tested positive, as well.


Romper: This Weeding-Killing Chemical Has Been Found In Some Children's Foods, According To A New Report

People don't always think about everything that goes into the food they're eating. In addition to looking at the living conditions of animals that produce the food, and even for grains and vegetables, there are some factors to be on the look out for, as a new report has found. According to the non-profit Environmental Working Group, as CBS News reported, aweed-killing chemical was found in some children's breakfast foods and here's what parents need to know about the group's findings.


Scary Mommy: Cancer-Causing Weed Killer Ingredient Found In Dozens Of Cereals

45 food items were tested by nonprofit Environmental Working Group in their recent study, and almost three-fourths of them were found to have levels of glyphosate that EWG says may be dangerous to children, though they are below the levels accepted by the EPA.


WebMD: Roundup Chemical in Your Cereal: What to Know

The tests were commissioned by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group after internal FDA emails surfaced last year showing chemists at the agency were testing wheat, corn, and oat foods for glyphosate and had found “a fair amount in all of them,” but had not yet released those results to the public. The emails were obtained by investigative journalists working for the nonprofit U.S. Right to Know.


Monsanto’s Glyphosate Verdict

Associated Press: Verdict reached in Dewayne Johnson v Monsanto case, awarded over $289 million

A statement was released from Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group,

“Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost.”


Los Angeles Times: California jury awards $289 million to man who claimed Monsanto's Roundup pesticide gave him cancer

“Monsanto made Roundup the OxyContin of pesticides, and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost,” said Ken Cook, president of Environmental Working Group. “This won’t cure DeWayne Lee Johnson’s cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company."


USA Today: Jury orders Monsanto to pay $289 million to cancer patient in Roundup lawsuit

The verdict drew applause from environmental groups Friday. “Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost," said Ken Cook, President of the Environmental Working Group, a U.S. environmental organization that researches toxic chemicals and advocates for corporate accountability. "This won’t cure DeWayne Lee Johnson’s cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company."


The Daily Mail: School groundsman, 46, with weeks to live, is awarded $289M by jury that found weedkiller Roundup DID give him lymphoma - and says cash will support his wife, who works two jobs, and children when he dies

Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said it was a victory for all workers. “Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost,” he said. “This won't cure DeWayne Lee Johnson's cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company.”


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Jury orders Monsanto to pay $289 million in California Roundup cancer trial 

Environmental groups were quick to applaud the verdict. Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, said in a statement, “Monsanto made Roundup the oxycontin of pesticides, and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost. This won’t cure DeWayne Lee Johnson’s cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company.”


Washington Examiner: Monsanto found liable for causing man's cancer in landmark case

Environmentalists applauded the victory. Monsanto made Roundup the “oxycontin” of weed killers “and now the addiction and damage they caused have come home to roost,” said Ken Cook, the president of Environmental Working Group.  “This won’t cure DeWayne Lee Johnson’s cancer, but it will send a strong message to a renegade company,” Cook added.


Asbestos and the Environmental Protection Agency

CNN HLN: Across America with Carol Costello (video clip)

A pass for poison? Is the EPA weakening protections against asbestos? Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney for the Environmental Working Group with Carol Costello.


Salon: Asbestos proposal raises big questions about the Environmental Protection Agency’s responsibility

Asbestos is a known carcinogen. The U.S. still allows limited use in products, including roofing materials. However, the toxic material is banned in 55 countries. In July, tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group Action Fund found asbestos fibers in samples of children’s crayons. A report published Tuesday by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund also revealed asbestos fibers in crayons, among other children’s school supplies.


Chlorpyrifos Ban Reversed

AccuWeather: Federal court orders EPA to ban pesticide linked to brain damage in children

“EWG has focused on educating our audiences about the dangers of chlorpyrifos, and we, together with two other organizations concerned with food safety, gathered more than 80,000 signatures calling on Pruitt to follow through with the ban,” Deputy Director of Communications for the Environmental Working Group Sarah Graddy said.


Environment Guru: Court Rebukes EPA, Orders Ban on Pesticide That Harms Kids’ Brains
“Today's court decision is a huge victory for public health, especially that of children,” said Melanie Benesh, legislative attorney for the Environmental Working Group. “By requiring the EPA to finally ban chlorpyrifos, the Ninth Circuit is ensuring that the agency puts children's health, strong science and the letter of the law above corporate interests.”


Supreme Court Nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh

Common Dreams: 25 Environmental, Advocacy Organizations Oppose Nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh in New Letter

Click here to read the full text of the environmental community’s letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee opposing Judge Kavanaugh or continue reading below: Alaska Wilderness League,  Bold Alliance, Center for Biological Diversity, Clean Water Action, Climate Hawks Vote, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Endangered Species Coalition, Environmental Working Group, …


Algal Blooms

EcoRI: Rhode Island, Like Planet, is Turning a Toxic Blue-Green

In fact, we can stop labeling states as simply red or blue. They’re all turning shades of blue-green-red. Outbreaks of potentially toxic algae are rising sharply this summer in lakes, rivers, and streams across the United States, according to the Environmental Working Group’s ongoing tracking of algae outbreaks.


California Bill to Test Lead in Child Care Centers

Water Online: Children Exposed To Lead In Drinking Water At Day Care Centers

In California, the state legislature is considering EWG-sponsored legislation to require water testing in child care centers. AB 2370, by Assembly Member Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, would require licensed child care centers – facilities that care for more than 700,000 children a year – to test their drinking water for lead contamination and ensure that the contamination is abated. An EWG-requested state budget appropriation would also provide grants to help child care centers conduct testing, and replace leaded fixtures and pipes.


Cleaning Products

Newsmax: Is Your Household Cleaner Killing You?

Samara Geller, senior research and database expert at the Environmental Working Group, tells Newsax that some of the most worrisome ingredients aside from chlorine bleach are ammonia, triclosan, diethanolamine and fragrance.


Crop Insurance

Capital Press: The great crop insurance debate

The Environmental Working Group, an environmental group, claims farmers who are “millionaires and billionaires” should shoulder more of the cost of insurance, and recommends setting limits on federally supported insurance.


Johnson & Johnson’s Transparency Initiative

Chain Drug Review: Johnson’s Baby disclosing 100% ingredient transparency

It’s such a noteworthy and industry-leading pledge that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has taken note: “We applaud Johnson & Johnson’s move to greater transparency in the personal care product market,” said EWG President Ken Cook.


Kourtney Kardashian

POPSUGAR: 12 Times Kourtney Kardashian Taught Us All How to Wear a Pantsuit

Kourtney looked ready to get down to business in April 2018, as she met with Environmental Working Group President Ken Cook at a briefing on Capitol Hill regarding regulations on personal care products. She wore a tailored black suit, smart white top, and black booties for the occasion.


Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™
Organic Authority: How To Cook Fresh Green Beans for Optimal Taste

We highly recommend buying organic green beans given they are number 20 on EWG’s Dirty Dozen List which ranks the pesticide and herbicide content of produce.


PFAS in Tap Water

CNN: 'What did we do?' Families anxious about chemicals found in tap water

The Environmental Working Group and Northwestern University have mapped 94 sites across the country affected by PFAS. The US Department of Defense has listed 36 contaminated military installations.


TruthOut: Hidden Studies From Decades Ago Could Have Curbed PFAS Chemical Problem

Michigan isn’t alone: In May, an analysis released by the Environmental Working Group reported that more than 1,500 drinking water systems, serving up to 110 million Americans, may be contaminated with PFAS compounds.


The Kitchn: What Exactly Is Teflon? And Do I Need to Worry About It?

The Environmental Working Group has expressed concerns over the environmental impact of the chemicals that replaced PFOA in the manufacturing processes. One replacement chemical, GenX, has been in the news as recently as this spring after being found in residential water near a plant in Fayetteville, NC.


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