Cancer Causing Cereals List
Glyphosate, a widely used herbicide, has become a topic of significant public and scientific debate due to its potential health impacts when present in our food. This blog post aims to shed light on the presence of glyphosate in various food products, with a particular focus on its levels in Cheerios and other popular oat-based products.
Glyphosate in Cheerios
Cheerios, a beloved breakfast cereal, especially among children, has been scrutinized for its glyphosate content. Studies have shown that glyphosate residues are found in various Cheerios products. For instance, Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch was found to contain 833 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheerios contained 400 ppb, and Multi Grain Cheerios had 216 ppb. These numbers are concerning, especially considering the benchmark for children’s consumption of glyphosate is set at 160 ppb.
The Wider Issue: Glyphosate in Other Foods
The presence of glyphosate extends beyond Cheerios. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted studies revealing that over 95% of popular oat-based food samples contained glyphosate. A follow-up study highlighted cereals targeting children as some of the most contaminated products. The levels of glyphosate in these products, measured in ppb, are alarming:
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Maple Brown Sugar – 566 ppb
- Nature Valley Granola Cups, Almond Butter – 529 ppb
- Nature Valley Baked Oat Bites – 389 ppb
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats and Honey – 320 ppb
- Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Peanut Butter – 312 ppb
- Nature Valley Granola Cups, Peanut Butter Chocolate – 297 ppb
- Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate Cherry – 275 ppb
- Nature Valley Protein Granola, Oats and Dark Chocolate – 261 ppb
- Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares, Blueberry – 206 ppb
- Fiber One Soft-Baked Cookies, Oatmeal Raisin – 204 ppb
- Nature Valley Granola, Peanut Butter Creamy & Crunchy – 198 ppb
- Nature Valley Biscuits with Almond Butter – 194 ppb
- Granola from brands such as Quaker, KIND, Back to Nature, Nature Valley
- Instant oats by brands including Giant, Quaker, Umpqua, Market Pantry Whole oats from companies like Quaker, Bob’s Red Mill, Nature’s Path, Whole Foods
- Cereals by Kashi, Kellogg’s, and specific types like Lucky Charms and Cheerios
- Snack bars by Quaker, KIND, Nature Valley, Kellogg’s
- Orange juice from brands such as Tropicana, Minute Maid, Signature Farms, Kirkland
- Crackers, including Cheez-Its, Ritz, Triscuits, Goldfish
- Cookies by brands like Annie’s, Kashi, and Nabisco (including Oreos)
- Chips by Stacy’s, Lay’s, Doritos, Fritos
- Glyphosate has also been found in various other products like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, non-organic cotton products such as tampons and clothing, and even in drinking water. It’s been detected in 75% of air and rain samples, and a 2017 study reported its regular presence in human urine.
Health Implications of Glyphosate
The health effects of glyphosate exposure through food are a matter of ongoing research and debate. Some studies suggest that glyphosate could have carcinogenic properties, while others indicate potential endocrine disruption and effects on gut bacteria. The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans" in 2015, though other regulatory agencies have reached different conclusions.
What Can Consumers Do?
Given the widespread presence of glyphosate in food, consumers are often left wondering what they can do to minimize their exposure:
Choose Organic: Organic products are less likely to contain glyphosate residues.
Diversify Diet: Eating a varied diet can reduce the risk of high exposure to glyphosate from a single source.
Avoid Processed Foods: Goes without saying, processed foods have a higher chance of having glyphosate in them.
Stay Informed: Keep abreast of the latest research and regulatory decisions regarding glyphosate.
Advocate for Regulation: Support policies and regulations that aim to reduce the use of glyphosate in agriculture.
Wash Your Fruits & Vegetables: Many people clean their produce by rinsing it under cold water, which is effective for reducing pesticide residues on certain produce. A study by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station showed that this method decreases pesticide residue in most cases. However, the effectiveness of commercial “produce cleaners” is comparable to just using plain water. Other washing methods have proven more effective. For instance, washing produce in salt water is an easy, cost-effective way to remove more pesticides. A study published in Food Control found that a 10% salt water solution removes significantly more pesticides than plain water. A similar vinegar solution is also effective, but it can be costly and may leave a vinegary taste on produce. I like to rinse my produce with filtered water after I wash them.
The presence of glyphosate in Cheerios and other oat-based foods is a significant concern, particularly given the potential health risks associated with this herbicide. Consumers should be aware of these findings and consider taking steps to minimize their exposure. As research continues to unfold, it's crucial to stay informed and advocate for safer food production practices.