The Environmental Working Group (EWG) has released the results of a test it conducted on popular oat-based products, like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Kind Bars, Nature Valley bars, and others, to determine whether they contained any of the herbicide glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer, and at high levels, has been linked to cancer.
Unfortunately, some of the results were not what you might hope.
In its testing, the EWG tested 45 samples of conventionally grown oats and 16 of organically grown oats. In 43 of the 45 conventional cases, it detected glyphosate. And in 31 of those cases, glyphosate levels were above the organization’s health benchmark of 160 parts per billion. On the organic side, just five products were discovered to have had Glyphosate and none of them reached the 160ppb benchmark.
The benchmark is designed to provide a framework for how much glyphosate humans can ingest daily without having potentially negative health effects. The higher the level, the worse for your health.
The most concerning findings came with Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, which had levels higher than 1,000ppb. Three Cheerios samples had levels ranging from 470ppb to 530ppb. Lucky Charms were tested in two samples and found to have 400ppb and 230ppb levels, respectively.
The report comes one week after chemical giant Monsanto was ordered by a court to pay $289 million to a terminal cancer patient whose illness, the jury ruled, could be attributed to using its Roundup weed killer. According to USA Today, hundreds of similar cases have been filed against Monsanto and are currently working their way through the court system.
According to the study, nearly three-fourths of the samples tested had levels of glyphosate above the 160 parts per billion (ppb) benchmark considered safe by the EWG. It is important to note, however, that the EWG’s threshold for safe levels of glyphosate in foods is significantly lower than the standard set by the EPA.