A Cancer-Linked Weedkiller Has Been Found in Popular Cereals

Photo Credits: Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Scary news: Substantial levels of glyphosate—a chemical linked to cancer and found in weedkillers like Roundup—have been found in various breakfast cereals, granola, snack bars and oatmeal. According to independent laboratory tests reported by the Environmental Working Group, glyphosate was found to be present in 43 of the 45 oat-derived products that were sampled.

Almost three-fourths of the samples tested exceeded what the EWG classifies as safe for children to consume, even though the levels are technically legal. “Just because a pesticide level is legal in food doesn’t mean that level is safe,” EWG told People.

You May Also Like: A Rare and Deadly Type of Skin Cancer Is on the Rise

Among the companies that were found to contain glyphosate were major brands like Kellogg’s, General Mills and Quaker. “I grew up eating Cheerios and Quaker Oats long before they were tainted with glyphosate,” said EWG’s president, Ken Cook in a statement. “No one wants to eat a weedkiller for breakfast, and no one should have to do so.” 

Unsurprisingly, these major companies had a lot to say in defense about the findings. “Our products are safe and without question they meet regulatory safety levels,” General Mills said in a statement to Fast Company. “The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats.”

Quaker Oats also responded to the allegations, saying that they “proudly stand by the safety and quality” of their products and that they “do not add glyphosate during any part of the milling process.”

While these claims that their products are safe are reassuring, it’s important to keep in mind that chemicals like this do pose a potential threat to our health—even in small (and legal!) amounts.