Should you really be scared about weed killer in your cereal?

New study finds glyphosate in kids' cereals and snack bars

Popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a hefty dose of the weed-killing poison in Roundup, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by EWG.

The Environmental Working Group said it tested 45 samples of breakfast foods and found traces of glyphosate in 31 of them.

The food industry giant, Monsanto, who owns the Roundup brand (the most widely used glyphosate brand), disputed claims made by the World Health Organization that glyphosate is a "probably carcinogen".

Specific products found to contain the herbicide include Quaker Dinosaur Eggs instant oatmeal, Lucky Charms cereal, Nature Valley Oats and Honey granola bars and Kellogg's Nutrigrain strawberry breakfast bars.

Roundup is the most popular weedkiller in the U.S., and last week a court in California ordered the company to pay $39 million in compensation and $250 million in punitive damages to a school groundskeeper who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after years of using Roundup at work.

EWG is urging the EPA to review the evidence linking glyphosate to increased cancer risk and other deleterious health effects - the organization also says that the EPA should limit things like the practice of applying the chemical just before harvesting. That's not too surprising since glyphosate is banned from use in organic farming.

But makers of the foods EWG tested said they and their suppliers operate within US government safety guidelines and dismissed the group's findings as irrelevant. "Parents shouldn't worry about whether feeding their children heathy oat foods will also expose them to a chemical linked to cancer".

"We are deeply disappointed by the tone-deaf response of General Mills and the Quaker Oats Company to the news that EWG research has found a toxic weed killer in their products at levels of concern to human health-especially the health of kids", EWG President Ken Cook said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a risk assessment that "concludes that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans". In 2017, California listed glyphosate in its Proposition 65 registry of chemicals known to cause cancer.

EWG claims it discovered risky doses of glyphosate in 43 of the 45 conventionally grown oats products it tested, 31 of which it claims have unsafe amounts for children.

Plenty of other companies got back to Ad Age with similar statements backing the safety of their products.

The New York Times reports that Scott Partridge, vice president at Monsanto, the company that developed the herbicide more than 40 years ago, called the Environmental Working Group an "activist group" that has an agenda. The amount of the chemical in those samples was well under what the EPA considers protective of health.

United States farmers spray about 200m pounds of Roundup each year on their crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and oats.

In a statement to FOX Business, a Home Depot spokesperson said the company follows all regulatory guidelines regarding the sale of Roundup, and that they plan to continue to sell these products going forward. "Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any limits of the safety standards set by the EPA and the European Commission as safe for human consumption".

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