Roundup Chemical Linked to Cancer Found in Children’s Cereals: Group

August 15, 2018 Updated: August 15, 2018

An ingredient used in Monsanto’s Roundup has been found in a number of breakfast cereals, according to an environmental group.

An activist group said that glyphosate has been found in Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Fox Business reported. It comes days after a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper more than $289 million in damages after claiming that Roundup gave him cancer.

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) said that almost three-fourths of the 45 food products that were tested had high levels of glyphosate.

“We’re very concerned that consumers are eating more glyphosate than they know,” said Scott Faber, who is the vice president of government affairs at EWG. They did a lab test involving “45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats,” he said, CBS News reported.

In a statement Fox Business, a spokesperson for General Mills said that “our products are safe and without question, they meet regulatory safety levels.”

In a statement, Quaker told CBS News: “We proudly stand by the safety and quality of our Quaker products. Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any limits of the safety standards set by the EPA and the European Commission as safe for human consumption.”

“I was shocked,” said Dr. Jennifer Lowry, the chief of the Council on Environmental Health for the American Academy of Pediatrics, CBS News reported. “We don’t know a lot about the effects of glyphosate on children,” Lowry said. “And essentially we’re just throwing it at them.”

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Monsanto Co’s Roundup is shown for sale in Encinitas, California on June 26, 2017. (Reuters/Mike Blake)

Monsanto Found Liable

A California jury on Aug. 10 found Monsanto liable in a lawsuit filed by a man who alleged the company’s glyphosate-based weed-killers, including Roundup, caused his cancer and ordered the company to pay $289 million in damages.

Monsanto said on Aug. 13 it planned to challenge the verdict on the grounds that the judge should have barred scientific evidence presented by California school groundskeeper Dewayne Johnson’s lawyers as insufficient.

“Plaintiffs are putting forward junk science that is not based upon the 40 years of safe glyphosate use and studies,” Scott Partridge, Monsanto’s vice president of global strategy, told Reuters. “They attempted to color science with very emotional arguments designed to inflame jurors.”

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But according to the EWG, “Roundup was produced for decades by Monsanto, which this year merged with the German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG. In the case decided last week, the jury found that Monsanto knew for decades of the product’s hazards and not only failed to warn customers, but schemed to publicly discredit the evidence. The California case that ended Friday was the first of reportedly thousands of lawsuits against Monsanto. These suits have been brought by farm workers and others who allege that they developed cancer from years of exposure to Roundup.”

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

Reuters contributed to this report.