When I was a kid, my mother worried about the high sugar content in breakfast cereals. Now, a more nefarious chemical is present: Glyphosate. An active ingredient in Monsanto's weed killer Roundup, glyphosate has been linked to cancer.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) found glyphosate in 43 of 45 batches of conventionally grown oats, 31 of which were above the company's health benchmark of 160 parts per billion. This benchmark sets the standard of how much a human can ingest without experiencing negative health effects (EWG also found glyphosate in 5 of 13 organically grown oats, and none of them broke above the health benchmark).
Quaker Old Fashioned Oats scored the highest (or lowest if you think in health terms) concentrations of glyphosate, with Cheerios being the worst offender at 1000ppb and Lucky Charms coming in second at 400ppb. The company stated they stand by the safety of their products, and they do not intentionally add glyphosate during the milling process. It comes from the farmers who spray weed killer on the crops.
"Monsanto's Roundup is the most heavily used pesticide in the U.S. It's estimated that 250 million pounds of Roundup are sprayed on American crops to keep weeds down and crops living. But since it's often sprayed before harvest, it clings to the crops, leaving them in food."
The dangers are showing up. In the first week of August, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 in damages to a former groundskeeper who suffers from terminal non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson, testified he sprayed large amounts of Roundup and doused it on himself several times. The company never warned him of the dangers of the product he used on a daily basis. This is the first of hundreds of lawsuits against Monsanto to go to trial.
If this can happen from topical exposure, imagine ingesting it on a regular basis! It is especially dangerous for children as their estimated glyphosate intake is 230 times the 160pbb minimum. Organic food options are the healthiest although some can still contain low levels of glyphosate.
The next time you go grocery shopping, think twice before picking up Cheerios or Lucky Charms. Stick with products labeled "Organic" for the lowest risk of exposure. If you or your children have experienced any ill effects you think might have been caused by exposure to Roundup, contact our office.