Nearly all samples of oat cereals, oatmeal, granola, and snack bars recently tested by the Environmental Working Group contain the herbicide glyphosate, and this, despite the fact that there are no GMO oats on the marketplace today. Five of the organic products tested positive, as well. However, the EPA contends that glyphosate is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans, and Monsanto, makers of the herbicide Roundup for which glyphosate is a key ingredient, claim that glyphosate isn't a risk to humans, wildlife, or the environment.
According to EWG, glyphosate is an especially concerning problem for children.
The report come days after a jury at the Superior Court of California awarded $289 million in damages to Dewayne "Lee" Johnson, a San Francisco school groundskeeper that claimed Roundup caused him to developed non-Hodgkin lymphoma after using the spray for more than two years.
"I grew up eating Cheerios and Quaker Oats long before they were tainted with glyphosate", said EWG President Ken Cook as quoted in a report in KARE 11. In order to say you're organic you have to jump through many hoops. That's not too surprising since glyphosate is banned from use in organic farming. This practice of spraying glyphosate on other crops is a strategy that farmers sometimes employ. "And depending on weather patterns it could drift into their farms and get onto their foods", she said.
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In a statement to FOX Business regarding the report, a General Mills' spokesperson says, "Our products are safe and without questions they meet regulatory safety levels". Providing safe, high-quality foods is one of the ways we earn the trust of millions of people around the world. "We teach our junior doctors that the solution to pollution is dilution, and that using soap and water can minimize that concentration and remove the chemical immediately - it doesn't need to be more complicated than that".
According to EWG, farmers in the US are increasingly spraying glyphosate on oats and other non-GMO crops, because the herbicide dries the plants out and allows them to be harvested sooner.
In a statement Quaker said: "We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products". A full list of tested products and their glyphosate content is available as part of the study.
Glyphosate "has a 40-year history of safe use and continues to be a vital, effective and safe tool for farmers and others". "And essentially we're just throwing it at them".
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"Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any regulatory limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe for human consumption".
"It is time now for them to step up and do their jobs to ban glyphosate", said Zen Honeycutt, who heads Moms Across America, a group formed to raise awareness about toxic exposures. But he added, "If it could be established what a risky level amounts to I think that's important".
"This data was evaluated by Health Canada and no human health concerns were identified", the agency said in its report.
Since the verdict last Friday, only one UK-based retailer - HomeBase - announced that it will be reviewing the sale of product.
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