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Weedkiller Found in Wide Range of Breakfast Foods Aimed at Children

In the wake of a landmark jury decision that Monsanto’s weedkiller, Roundup, caused a groundskeeper’s cancer, studies show the weedkiller is in breakfast products in alarming quantities. For example, Quaker Old Fashioned Oats measured at 1,000 parts per billion of glyphosate — the “safe” level is considered 0.1 to 310 parts per million, The Guardian reports. The weedkiller was also found in granola, snack bars and popular breakfast cereals. The food manufacturers and Monsanto maintain that both their foods and the weedkiller are safe.

While this is big news right now, the truth about glyphosate contaminating foods has been leaking out for several years. Most recently, internal U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emails revealed that Roundup has been found in virtually all foods tested, including the breakfast foods mentioned in the featured article, as well as in commercial honeys and crackers. Independent testing also found it in beans, orange juice, various grains and even wine and ice cream.

Still other tests showed that 10 of 24 breakfast foods tested contained detectable levels of glyphosate, specifically oatmeal, bagels, coffee creamer, organic bread and even organic, cage-free, antibiotic-free eggs. Even the classic children’s cereal Cheerios showed glyphosate residues of 1,125.3 parts per billion!

If you’re wondering how in the world this can happen — how does a common herbicide end up in your food — the answer is simple: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is commonly sprayed on food grains just prior to harvest. The practice allows farmers to accelerate the drying of the crop (rather than having to wait on nature to do it for them) in a process called “desiccating.”

It’s a crop-accelerator that’s continued to be used despite the fact that the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) determined years ago that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Yet, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to this day still doesn’t even bother to test for it. The FDA at one point said they would test “some” foods for glyphosate, but they haven’t followed through.

If you think this is something you can avoid, think again. New research shows that 76 percent of people tested have some level of glyphosate in their bodies, with men typically having higher levels than women. The upside is:

  • People who eat organic food on a regular basis have an 80 percent lower level of glyphosate than those who rarely eat organic. This indicates organic products are a safer choice
  • People who eat five or more servings of vegetables per day have glyphosate levels that are 50 percent lower than those who eat fewer vegetables
  • If you don’t eat oats on a regular basis, you’re a step ahead, as those who do eat oats regularly have twice as much glyphosate in them than those who don’t

So what does this mean for you, the consumer? Monsanto — now Bayer — has vowed to appeal the recent decision against them, although thousands of similar lawsuits are waiting in the wings. The bad news is Monsanto will continue to fight against your right to know what is in your foods.

The good news is you have the power to speak with your pocketbook. Refuse to purchase processed foods that come in any package, box or bag. Shop the organic section of your grocery or, better yet, seek out local farmers markets and food retailers where you can purchase only organically-grown foods. You can also join a community supported agriculture (CSA) program, where you can buy a “share” in organic foods produce through the coop.

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