A new report might have some parents thinking twice about what they feed their kids for breakfast.
The study by the US -based Environmental Working Group has found that a number of cereals, granola bars and oat-based products contain glyphosate, the herbicide sold to consumers under the name Roundup. But for the average person who uses it occasionally for yard work, are Roundup and other weed killers still safe to use? "Roundup could cause cancer", Brent Wisner, the lawyer for the California man, Dewayne Johnson, said in a statement obtained by The Guardian.
EWG is not neutral on the issue and it actively campaigns against glyphosate, according to an NBC News investigation published Friday.
The highest levels of glyphosate (1,300 parts per billion) were detected in Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, EWG noted.
Some of the cereals include Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal and Kellogg's Cracklin' Oat Bran oat cereal. Of the 61 food samples they tested, 48 contained some level of glyphosate - 31 of those higher than 160 parts per billion.
What's more, about one-third of the 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, but at levels below EWG's benchmark.
In 2015, the International Agency For Research On Cancer classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans". He said the Environmental Working Group is an activist group.
The EPA and the Food and Drug Administration say they are studying the current guidance for safe levels of glyphosate in food.
Monsanto Co's Roundup is shown for sale in Encinitas, California on June 26, 2017. The product's active ingredient, glyphosate, is a systemic, broad-spectrum herbicide that kills things not genetically modified to resist it. Farmers often use glyphosate not only for killing weeds, but just before harvesting a crop, as a way to dry out the food so it can be harvested more quickly.
In 2017, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found traces of the chemical in almost 30 per cent of the 3,200 food samples it tested. The high levels of glyphosate came from the oats themselves. Many of these products nonetheless did show some glyphosate content, which Tenkin said was likely due to the chemical making its way to organic crops from other fields or cross-contamination at processing facilities.
"This is what the poison control centers are here for, if there's ever any question of exposure or concern, we're a great free, public health entity", he says.
The study by the non-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars.
"I was shocked", said Dr. Jennifer Lowry, the chief of the Council on Environmental Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics, CBS News reported.
But she and the report's author, toxicologist Alexis Temkin, agreed that the chances of getting cancer from eating contaminated oats are low, WebMD pointed out.
"It is time now for them to step up and do their jobs to ban glyphosate", said Zen Honeycutt, who heads Moms Across America, a group formed to raise awareness about toxic exposures.