Roundup ingredient found in Cheerios, Quaker Oats, and other cereals

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In tests of 45 products made from oats, the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that all but two had traces of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup.

Glyphosate is classified as a probable carcinogen by the World Health Organization and was listed past year as a chemical known to cause cancer by California.

Some of the products EWG found were Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Cheerios, Quaker Dinosaur Egg Instant Oats, Great Value Instant Oats, and Back to Nature Classic Granola.

Last week, a California jury ordered Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to a man with terminal cancer.

In an interview with The Times on Wednesday, Scott Partridge, a vice president at Monsanto, said that hundreds of studies had validated the safety of glyphosate and that it doesn't cause cancer. But the marketers named say their products are well within EPA guidelines, leaving consumers to try to sort it out.

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"I was shocked", said Dr. Jennifer Lowry, who heads the Council on Environmental Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics and is a toxicologist at Children's Mercy Kansas City.

In California, the chemical found in the popular breakfast foods, bars and oats is listed as a chemical known to cause cancer.

Monsanto has frequently disputed the allegations that Roundup's glyphosate causes cancer, and it told CBS on August 15 that "glyphosate does not cause cancer" and "has a more than 40-year history of safe use".

The advocacy group's safety benchmark was 160 parts per billion. Still, there is much debate on whether glyphosate is actually unsafe, with some findings suggesting that it is only harmful to humans in high doses.

However, Naidenko, who was not an author of the report, believes that there are "conflicts of interest standing behind some" of the positive opinions of glyphosate and that Monsanto has tried to influence the EPA so that it will continue to allow use of the chemical in the United States. They did a lab test involving "45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats", he said, CBS News reported.

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"In this large, prospective cohort study, no association was apparent between glyphosate and any solid tumors or lymphoid malignancies overall", they wrote. The amount of the chemical in those samples was well under what the EPA considers protective of health. But there haven't yet been human studies of the health effects of glyphosate exposure in food, and though there have been studies of farmworkers and more studies in animals, there are relatively few studies overall.

The Environmental Protection Agency has said for years that there's not much evidence that the pesticide can cause cancer in people. In 2016, the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization and the World Health Organization found that the chemical was "unlikely" to pose a risk to humans through food.

A General Mills spokeswoman told The Times, "Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels". Farmers will spray the weed-killing chemical on crops, such as wheat, oats and lentils, before harvest. "Over those four decades, researchers have conducted more than 800 scientific studies and reviews that prove glyphosate is safe for use".

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

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