Health News

Weedkiller chemical found in children’s cereal

Written by Christian Butler

A weedkiller is present  in many US children’s breakfast cereals, a worrying report has found.

A new study shows that glyphosate,  which is a weed killing chemical, can be found in food marketed to American children. These include many breakfast cereals, as well as oats and snack bars. More worryingly, some have linked the chemical to causing cancer.

What is glyphosate?

Glyphosate is a herbicide. The chemical is toxic to plants. It is an active ingredient in an American weedkiller called Roundup. There is some debate about whether it causes cancer in humans. Back in 2015, the EPA said that glyphosate has a low toxicity for people. but could cause problems for some pets if they consume the chemical. However, in California, authorities have listed it as a chemical ‘known to the state to cause cancer.’

What does the study find?

The Environmental Working Group carried out the study. Out of 45 oat derived products in America, they found only 2 didn’t have the chemical. The Environmental Protection Agency has specified what a safe levels for glyphosate would be on different crops. The amount spans 0.1 to 310 parts per million. In contrast, when Quaker Old Fashioned oats were  tested, it had 1,000 parts per billion of glyphosate. Three quarters of the products tested by the EWG exceeded what they would classify as a  safe amount for children to consume.

What will happen now?

In the last few weeks, Monsanto, who create the Roundup weedkiller, will pay millions in damages linked to cancer. A San Francisco court found that the weedkiller caused Dewayne Johnson to get cancer. He was a groundskeeper, who the company failed to warn of the dangers of high exposure to the product. They will have to pay $289 million in damages.

This case could prove highly influential on future dealings with glyphosate. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration ) ahs been testing the chemical’s presence in food for 2 years. They have yet, however, to release any results from their investigation.

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