A new study released Wednesday found that more than 20 popular children’s cereals and snacks are contaminated with glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.
The analysis was commissioned by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and is the third round of testing it has undertaken. The study looked at popular General Mills products, including varieties of Cheerios cereal and Nature Valley granola bars.
Among the 21 products tested, the highest concentrations of glyphosate were found in the following products: Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch (833 ppb), Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal (729 ppb) and the maple brown sugar variety of Nature Valley granola bars (566 ppb).
The EWG has set the health benchmark for children’s daily glyphosate index at 160 ppb. Only four of the tested products were within the acceptable range:
- Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars (Dark Chocolate and Nut): 76 ppb
- Honey Nut Cheerios: 147 ppb
- Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut Granola Bars (Cashew): 158 ppb
- Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares (Cinnamon Brown Sugar): 124 ppb
According to the EWG, glyphosate is sprayed on oats to dry out the crop and make it easier to harvest. The practice, according to the group, increases the chance that glyphosate will end up in cereal products.
The World Health Organization has labeled glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.” The state of California has listed it as a chemical that is “known to the state to cause cancer.”
Dr. Jennifer Lowry of the American Academy of Pediatrics told CBS17 that we still don’t know a lot about the effects of glyphosate on children.
Monsanto maintains that glyphosate does not cause cancer, and the EPA says that the chemical is safe when used as directed by the company.
Food makers say that they rely on the government’s guidelines.