Report says breakfast bars, cereals contain weed killer

A report claims that trace amounts of cancer-linked herbicide has been found in dozens of popular breakfast cereals and snack bars, but product manufacturers say the amount of herbicide is not a health risk.

A new report from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that glyphosate — the main ingredient in Roundup — was found in 26 different breakfast bars, cereals and oatmeal. The levels of glyphosate found in the breakfast products were “higher than what EWG scientists consider protective of children’s health.”

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"The tests detected glyphosate in all 28 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. All but two of the 28 samples had levels of glyphosate above EWG's health benchmark," the group said in the study. The environmental activist group released the study findings Tuesday.

The Environmental Working Group is an American activist group that specializes in advocacy and research on human health and the environment, according to its website. It is funded by private charitable foundations, including Amazon's charitable giving program. Find more information about the group's funding here.

The manufacturing companies of the cereals say the products are safe to consume. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, “Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that can kill certain weeds and grasses. Glyphosate works by blocking an enzyme essential for plant growth. The product is used primarily in agriculture, but also in forestry and lawn and garden care.”

The FDA said certain trace amounts of pesticides, or pesticide chemical residues, may remain in or on some crops after they’re harvested. The FDA’s role is to ensure that pesticide chemical residues on or in domestic and imported foods do not exceed the limits established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).



EPA has established tolerances for glyphosate on a wide range of crops, including corn, soybean, oil seeds, grains, and some fruits and vegetables, ranging from 0.1 to 310 ppm, according to the FDA website.

General Mills officials responded with a statement to CNN, "The extremely low levels of pesticide residue cited in recent news reports is a tiny fraction of the amount the government allows."

The group tested 28 products and found the substance in these products, according to the study: 

Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey & Almonds

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Cinnamon & Spice

Quaker Instant Oatmeal Apples & Cinnamon

Quaker Real Medleys Super Grains Banana Walnut

Quaker Overnight Oats Raisin Walnut & Honey Heaven

Quaker Overnight Oats Unsweetened with Chia Seeds

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Brown Sugar

Quaker Oatmeal Squares Honey Nut

Apple Cinnamon Cheerios

Very Berry Cheerios

Chocolate Cheerios

Frosted Cheerios

Fruity Cheerios

Honey Nut Cheerios

Cheerios Oat Crunch Cinnamon

Quaker Chewy S’mores

Quaker Chewy Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip

Quaker Breakfast Squares Soft Baked Bars Peanut Butter

Quaker Breakfast Flats Crispy Snack Bars Cranberry Almond


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