The Environmental Working Group  tested 45 samples of breakfast foods, most made from oats grown in fields sprayed with Roundup. Elevated levels of glyphosate were detected in 31 of them —even some whose oats  were grown organically— according to a report released by the EWG August 15.

A spokesman for General Mills, maker of Cheerios and Quaker Oats, responded, “Our products comply with all safety and regulatory requirements… Without question they meet regulatory safety levels. 

A Monsanto spokesman said,  “Even at the highest level reported [in the study] …an adult would have to eat 118 pounds of the food item every day for the rest of their life in order to reach the EPA’s limit” for glyphosate residues.

Which suggests that the EPA’s limit is absurdly high.

 * EWG’s child-protective health benchmark for daily exposure to glyphosate in food is 160 parts per billion. ** ND = none detected

We were sorry to see Bob’s Red Mill Oatmeal clocking in at 300 parts per billion. Bob’s is a righteous company, committed to organic practices. The EWG report notes that glyphosate adheres to water and soil particles and can drift in streams and through the air onto crops being grown organically in nearby fields. Like the old spiritual says, “Ain’t no hidin’ place down here.”

Excerpts from the EWG Report follow:

Each year, more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate are sprayed on American crops, primarily on “Roundup-ready” corn and soybeans genetically engineered to withstand the herbicide. But when it comes to the food we eat, the highest glyphosate levels are not found in products made with GMO corn.

Increasingly, glyphosate is also sprayed just before harvest on wheat, barley, oats and beans that are not genetically engineered. Glyphosate kills the crop, drying it out so that it can be harvested sooner than if the plant were allowed to die naturally…

EWG calculated that a one-in-a-million cancer risk would be posed by ingestion of 0.01 milligrams of glyphosate per day.

To reach this maximum dose, one would only have to eat a single 60-gram serving1 of food with a glyphosate level of 160 parts per billion, or ppb. The majority of samples of conventional oat products from EWG’s study exceeded 160ppb, meaning that a single serving of those products would exceed EWG’s health benchmark….

The highest levels, greater than 1,000 ppb, were detected in two samples of Quaker Old Fashioned Oats. Three samples of Cheerios had glyphosate levels ranging from 470 ppb to 530 ppb. Twelve of the food samples had levels of glyphosate lower than EWG’s health benchmark, ranging from 10 ppb to 120 ppb. Only two samples had no detectable glyphosate.

Glyphosate was also detected at concentrations of 10 ppb to 30 ppb in five of 16 samples made with organic oats. The five samples came from two brands of organic rolled oats: Bob’s Red Mill and Nature’s Path. A third brand of organic rolled oats and all other organic oat products tested did not contain detectable concentrations of glyphosate.