A new report by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) finds that glyphosate, a weed-killing chemical that some health authorities believe can cause cancer, is in several popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) said that nearly three-fourths of the 45 food products that were tested had high levels of glyphosate.
This study said Cheerios and Quaker Oats made the list of potential cereals and oats with high levels of the chemical.
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In an interview with The Times on Wednesday, Scott Partridge, a vice president at Monsanto, said that hundreds of studies had validated the safety of glyphosate and that it doesn't cause cancer. Thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto brought by farm workers and others also allege that they developed cancer from long-term exposure to Roundup. Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal contained as much as 780 parts per billion in one sample.
"We will petition the Environmental Protection Agency to do its job and end uses of glyphosate that resulted in the contamination we report today", said EWG President Ken Cook. A 2017 Journal of the National Cancer Institute study found no association between the chemical and an increased cancer risk.
The report states trace amounts of glyphosate, the active chemical ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, in all but two of the 45 products it tested that were made with conventionally grown oats.
What's high? Well, the EWG suggests kids shouldn't be exposed to more than 160 parts per billion per day (ppb). In 2015, the EPA said that glyphosate has a low toxicity for people but could cause problems for some pets if they consume the chemical.
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"In this large, prospective cohort study, no association was apparent between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall", they wrote.
He went on to say that the standards set by the EPA "pose real health risks to Americans-particularly children, who are more sensitive to the effects of toxic chemicals than adults".
In 2017, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found traces of the chemical in almost 30 per cent of the 3,200 food samples it tested. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, more than 200 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on crops each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has found that children between the ages of one and two have much higher exposure than older people. Kellogg's issued a similar statement, saying its food is safe and they follow the EPA's strict standards for safely levels of these agricultural residues "and the ingredients we purchase from suppliers for our foods fall under these limits". But he added, "If it could be established what a unsafe level amounts to I think that's important".
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