Several popular breakfast items, including oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars, were tested and found to contain a hefty dose of Glyphosate, a carcinogenic compound found in the herbicide Roundup.
Roundup is the most popular weedkiller in the United States, and last week a court in California ordered the company to pay $39 million in compensation and $250 million in punitive damages to a school groundskeeper who developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after years of using Roundup at work. He said he and his team at EWG had a lab test involving "45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats" and found glyphosate - the active ingredient in the Monsanto weed-killer Roundup - in all but two.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization, has said glyphosate is a "probable" human carcinogen.
Bayer said in a statement: "Bayer is confident, based on the strength of the science, the conclusions of regulators around the world and decades of experience, that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer when used according to the label". EWG's Faber is skeptical of EPA's glyphosate limits.
Food products included in the study that drew concern for its levels of glyphosate were Back to Nature Classic Granola, Giant Instant Oatmeal original flavor, Quaker Dinosaur Eggs with Brown Sugar Instant oatmeal and Quaker Steel Cut Oats, to name a few.
Quaker responded to the news in a statement to Fortune.
Out of 61 food samples tested, 48 had some glyphosate in them. He said the Environmental Working Group is an activist group. "But we very much doubt our petition will be acted upon by President Trump's lawless EPA". Greenpeace urged the Australian government to start restricting the sale of Roundup - which is widely available in supermarkets and hardware stores - after a Californian court found it caused the cancer of a terminally ill man.
"With this additional children's health safety factor, EWG calculated that a one-in-a-million cancer risk would be posed by ingestion of 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate per day", the group said. "Through the use of glyphosate, farmers are able to practise minimum tillage - protecting soil structure and nutrients and ultimately increasing the storage of soil carbon", she said. "Comparatively, from everything that I see, this is a small risk", said Gould, who led a committee studying the safety of genetically engineered crops for the National Academy of Medicine.
General Mills and Quaker Oats should volunteer to meet real health standards and make the effort to remove glyphosate from their products.
We expect better from General Mills and Quaker Oats, and we will continue to urge consumers to express their preference with their pocketbooks. Once the oats are transported to us, we put them through our rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulled, cleaned, roasted and flaked). "Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Commission as safe for human consumption".