Big US retailers stick by Roundup after cancer verdict

18 August, 2018, 18:26 | Author: Grady Montgomery
  • Image Credit Dr. Leonard Coldwell

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) on Wednesday 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.

A report from the Environmental Working Group on Wednesday said it found risky amounts of the herbicide glyphosate in a range of popular foods, from PepsiCo's Quaker Old Fashioned Oats to General Mills' Cheerios.

The World Health Organization's cancer research agency classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015.

A California jury on August 10 found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company's glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

"When you're dealing with something like that, a 1-in-a-million increased risk of cancer, I would say that isn't a significant level to be particularly concerned about", Michael Davoren, who studies molecular toxicology at UCLA and was not involved in the report, told WebMD. A jury deemed that Monsanto's Roundup weedkiller caused Johnson's cancer and that it had failed to warn him about the health risks of exposure.

He attributes his condition to the company's proprietary herbicide glyphosate he used.

But Cook said that General Mills and Quaker Oats are "relying on outdated safety standards". After all, Quaker and Cheerios are household names, but the Environmental Working Group is far from it.

A leading research group claims harmful levels of a weed killer linked to cancer are showing up in foods and cereals marketed to children.




Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup, an herbicide used to treat Roundup Ready corn and soy plants that have been genetically engineered to resist the chemical.

The advocacy group's safety benchmark was 160 parts per billion.

According to an Environmental Protection Agency, glyphosate "is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans".

Scott Partridge, the vice president of Monsanto, disagreed, telling the newspaper that, "glyphosate does not cause cancer, and did not cause Johnson's cancer".

Glyphosate is the pesticide found in Roundup.

Nearly three-quarters of food samples tested showed higher glyphosate levels than what the group's scientists believe to be "protective of children's health", the report indicates. What's even shocking is that more than 200 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on crops in the United States each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for instance, has found that children between the ages of one and two have much higher exposure than older people. "The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats", the company says. "The EPA sets strict standards for safe levels of these agricultural residues and the ingredients we purchase from suppliers for our foods fall under these limits".

EWG-which has received criticism for being too alarmist about toxic chemicals-thinks that even California's proposed limit is too high.

The benchmark is created to provide a framework for how much glyphosate humans can ingest daily without having potentially negative health effects.

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