Is the United States government doing enough to protect us from the health effects of glyphosate, the cancer-linked Monsanto herbicide whose use has skyrocketed in recent years since the introduction of GMO crops in the mid-90s?
That depends on who you ask.
Big food corporations like General Mills, Conagra and Quaker Oats insist their products are safe, but millions of parents strongly disagree in the wake of this month’s landmark $289 million Monsanto / cancer verdict in California and news of Monsanto’s collusion with government safety agencies.
One thing’s for sure: we’re being bombarded by glyphosate and other farming chemicals, and our food is being contaminated each day: including two of the world’s most popular breakfast foods.
Nearly 70% of Breakfast Foods Tested Contain High Levels of Glyphosate
In a report released Wednesday, the Environmental Working Group said that 31 of 45 breakfast foods tested contained elevated levels of glyphosate, dubbed a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s IARC in 2015.
“There are levels above what we could consider safe in very popular breakfast foods,” said Alexis Temkin, who served as a toxicologist for the group.
Perhaps the two most noteworthy offenders were Cheerios and Quaker Oats according to the report, which can be read here.
According to the EPA, the average daily intake for glyphosate is set at 1,750 µg (1.75 mg) per kg of body weight. But that number is far more lenient than in Europe, where the allowable level is just .3 mg per kg.
While glyphosate won’t kill you overnight, it has been well established that it is a strong, cumulative toxin that builds up in human tissues, and may be a chief reason for human cancer cases, according to thousands of recent lawsuits against Monsanto.
Organic is Still the Top Way to Avoid Monsanto Chemical
If you’re looking for ways to avoid glyphosate in your food, you can’t go wrong by buying organic.
According to the results of the EWG’s tests, 43 of the 45 conventional foods tested had glyphosate residues on them. An additional 16 organic food samples were tested, with 5 of them showing some glyphosate residues.
The highest recorded sample was Quaker’s Old Fashioned Oats product, which scored 1,100 and 1,300 parts per billion respectively in its second and third samples.
Oat products in general are among the highest-testing because of the way they are sprayed before harvest with glyphosate.
One organic product, Bob’s Red Mill Old Fashioned Organic Rolled Oats, tested far lower than Quaker Oats with tests of 0, 10, and 20 ppb respectively.
Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal also had high levels, coming in at near or over 500 ppb in its three tests, with its last the highest at 530 ppb.
The EWG, which consistently studies glyphosate levels, set its own “health benchmark” at 160 ppb, meaning the above foods are more than three times higher than daily safe limits in their estimation, far surpassing the limit with just one serving.
For more on the other organic foods that tested completely clean (and one other with minuscule levels detected), as well as how the EWG came to its own proposed limit for safe levels, check out the full list here.