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Weed Killer for Breakfast

Spreading toxic agricultural chemical on wheat farm

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Roundup, a dangerous weed killer containing a toxic agricultural chemical, has been found in certain oat-based breakfast cereals and granola bars.

Weed Killer in Breakfast Cereals

Lab tests on 61 products made with conventionally-grown oats have confirmed trace amounts of weed killer in popular breakfast cereals including Cheerios and Lucky Charms, as well as other oat-based products like granola bars and oatmeal. Products tested positive for small amounts of glyphosate, a week-killer found in herbicides like Roundup.

Although Roundup has been used to kill weeds for more than 40 years, the chemical was determined to be carcinogenic to humans in 2015. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers the amount of weed killer found in breakfast cereals and other oat-based products to be safe for human consumption. However, glyphosate is listed as a known carcinogen to humans with the potential to cause cancer. This is particularly concerning to many health agencies and toxicologists since glyphosate has been found in many popular children’s cereals.

The EPA is not concerned about the carcinogenic effects of trace amounts of Roundup found in breakfast cereals. They suggest that 140 milligrams per day for the average adult is completely safe. The EPA is only concerned about lifetime exposure to carcinogens. Toxicologists disagree because many of these cereals may be consumed from early childhood throughout adulthood, which is virtually a lifetime of exposure.

Research studies by health experts determined that children should not eat more than 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate per day (160 parts per billion in a single serving.) In lab tests performed on oat-based cereals, one serving of Quaker Oats had 1,300 parts per billion. The EPA notes that adults would have to eat 118 pounds of the food item every day for the rest of their lives to reach the EPA’s limit., even at the highest level reported (1300 parts per billion),

Agricultural farmers commonly use Roundup weed killers to kill weeds and dry outcrops for faster harvesting. Toxicologists say that this process puts higher levels of glyphosate in food products. Although traces of glyphosate in oat-based cereals is still controversial, Roundup has recently been linked to human cancers in farmers, gardeners, and landscapers. A jury recently awarded a school groundskeeper $289 million in damages after his long-term exposure to Roundup was linked to his cancer diagnosis. To date, there have been 8,000 state and federal personal injury lawsuits filed against Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup.

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