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Uh-oh — What's in your Cheerios?

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

glyphosate in oat based cereal snack products

Story at-a-glance -

  • The Environmental Working Group (EWG) commissioned another round of glyphosate testing on 21 oat-based cereal and snack products
  • EWG purchased the products online, then packed and shipped about 300 grams of each to Anresco Laboratories in San Francisco. There, liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry was used to analyze glyphosate levels
  • The chemical was found in all 21 products, with all but four of them coming in higher than EWG’s benchmark for lifetime cancer risk in children, which is 160 parts per billion (ppb)
  • Cheerios and other breakfast cereals, granola bars and oatmeal squares are among the products commonly containing glyphosate residues
  • EWG and other consumer groups have petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the amount of glyphosate residues allowed in oats from 30 parts per million (ppm) to 0.1 ppm, as well as to prohibit the use of glyphosate as a preharvest desiccant, or drying agent

Popular breakfast foods often marketed and fed to children continue to test positive for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide. Glyphosate is the subject of lawsuits filed by more than 13,000 plaintiffs, who allege they developed cancer due to exposure to the ubiquitous chemical in Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers.

A number of cities, counties, states and countries have already moved to ban glyphosate or impose restrictions on its use. This includes Austria, which announced in June 2019 plans to ban the chemical within the year. In the U.S., however, use continues unabated and, since 1974, more than 1.6 billion kilograms of glyphosate (3.5 billion pounds) have been applied.


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