More than two dozen common oat-based breakfast products that are marketed to children contain small amounts of a weed killer called glyphosate that may pose a cancer risk, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
EWG tested 28 products made by Quaker, Kellogg’s, and General Mills, such as Cheerios and Quaker Oatmeal Squares, and found that 26 had levels of glyphosate above 160 parts per billion—higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health, according to an October 24, 2018 CNN article. In a first round of tests reported on in August, the environmental group found that two-thirds of 45 food samples made with conventionally grown oats had levels of glyphosate above the EWG health benchmark.
While the amount of glyphosate in the tested breakfast products meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards, there’s debate within the scientific community as to what a safe level of exposure is. Chensheng (Alex) Lu, adjunct associate professor of environmental exposure biology at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, told CNN that he thinks parents should err on the side of caution when choosing breakfast foods.
“What is more scary?” asked Lu. “Choosing cereals between organic and conventional, or being told by your doctor that you or your children have cancer?”
Read the CNN article: Dozens more breakfast foods test positive for trace amounts of weed killer, report says
Read a Business Insider article: The weed-killing chemical involved in a Monsanto lawsuit was found in Cheerios and Quaker Oats products. Here’s how worried you should be.
‘Probable’ carcinogenic herbicide found in breakfast foods (Harvard Chan School news)
Buying organic food is worth it, HSPH prof says (Harvard Chan School news)