A new report released this week (June, 2019) by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) confirms previous reports that America’s breakfast cereals, consumed primarily by children, are contaminated with the toxic herbicide, glyphosate.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, and has been linked to cancer. Juries in recent court cases have awarded billions of dollars in damages to cancer victims who were exposed to glyphosate.
This most recent report published by Olga Naidenko, Ph.D., senior science advisor, and Alexis Temkin, Ph.D., Toxicologist, at EWG, tested 21 oat-based cereal and snack products, and found all of them had high levels of the toxic glyphosate.
“Major food companies like General Mills continue to sell popular children’s breakfast cereals and other foods contaminated with troubling levels of glyphosate, the cancer-causing ingredient in the herbicide Roundup.
“The weedkiller, produced by Bayer-Monsanto, was detected in all 21 oat-based cereal and snack products sampled in a new round of testing commissioned by the Environmental Working Group.” (Full Report.)
The new tests confirm EWG’s report from tests in July and October of last year (2018), showing that levels of glyphosate in the products tested were consistently above EWG’s children’s health benchmark. The two highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, with 833 parts per billion, or ppb, and Cheerios, with 729 ppb.
Why America’s Cereal Producers Cannot Eliminate Glyphosate from Their Products
EWG is asking the public to sign a petition to have the major food companies remove glyphosate from their products.
While this is a noble venture, it is impossible for any company producing products from American grains to remove glyphosate from their products.
The assumption behind such a request, is that the herbicide RoundUp, which was originally formulated to be sprayed on genetically modified crops to kill weeds but not the GMO crops like corn and soy, is also used to “desiccate” non-GMO crops, such as oats and wheat. When applied to these non-GMO crops, it kills them at a time appropriate for the farmer to harvest the crop under their time schedule, rather than risk losing a harvest to bad weather, such as an early snow fall, for example.
The belief, apparently, is that if farmers stop using this practice of spraying their non-GMO crops such as oats and wheat with RoundUp just prior to harvesting, that this will solve the problem.
However, my own testing and investigating into this matter with my company Healthy Traditions, shows that this is not the case, as even USDA Certified Organic products today, which are NOT sprayed with RoundUp, still have significant amounts of glyphosate contamination.
Also, even in harvesting conventional (non-organic) crops, probably less than 50% of grain farmers use the process of desiccation by spraying RoundUp on their crops to kill them before harvest.
“Scheurer said desiccating oats with glyphosate is a common practice in Western Canada. Of the growers who straight combine oats, about 40 to 50 percent use glyphosate to hasten and even up crop maturity.” (Source.)
And yet, 100% of the oat products EWG has tested over the past few years have been contaminated with glyphosate.
The reason for this is because glyphosate is the #1 herbicide in the world, and even if one is not applying it directly to their crops, it is finding its way there anyway, either through “drift” from neighbors’ farms, through rain, groundwater, etc.
So when it comes to breakfast cereals, breads, and other products produced from American grains, the consumer’s choice is NOT between products contaminated with glyphosate and those that are not, the choice is between products with a LOT of glyphosate, and products with not as much glyphosate.
Companies producing these products do not have a choice to remove glyphosate from their products. It is impossible. Petitioning them to do so will not accomplish anything, because they are powerless to change this.
Why Don’t Governments Just Ban Glyphosate?
Governments, for the most part, are powerless to change this by simply banning glyphosate. Since it is the active ingredient in the world’s most widely-used herbicide, and since the majority of the crops harvested in America are dependent upon this herbicide, especially GMO crops, banning it would cause a worldwide catastrophe, both by decimating our economy, as well as causing massive food shortages.
This is the modern day result of Big Ag, where less than 1% of our population now feeds the other 99% of the population.
The only way to ban glyphosate is to replace it with something else that would allow the current agricultural system to continue, and there is no guarantee that whatever replaces glyphosate will be any safer.
Since Monsanto has now been exposed through the U.S. legal system for concealing earlier data that showed glyphosate was toxic, it seems like only a matter of time before something replaces it.
This might have been the motive for President Trump’s Executive Order (EO) issued earlier this week (June, 2019):
This EO was apparently issued to remove regulatory “red tape” to get Big Ag products to market sooner. It is a “double-edged” sword to the American consumer, because if something less toxic than glyphosate can be developed and brought to the market sooner, then the quicker America can eliminate its dependency on glyphosate.
If, however, herbicides, pesticides, and GMO crops are rushed to market too soon before fully testing them for toxicity, we could have even a worse problem with the contamination of America’s food supply, if that is even possible.