Skip to main content

Weed Killer on Your Breakfast Table?

Latest news about the Monsanto cereal story and safe breakfast alternatives

Published on: August 16, 2018

Girl eating cereal

Monsanto’s Roundup makes the news again this week as independent laboratory tests conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer, was also found in popular breakfast cereals that are specifically marketed to children. Cheerios, Lucky Charms and Quaker Old Fashioned Oats are listed among the products tested.

This new report comes just days after a jury awarded $289 million in damages to a California school groundskeeper, who claims that Roundup caused his terminal cancer after years of exposure.

Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in the U.S. and in 2015, it was identified as a carcinogen by the World Health Organization. Still, each year more than 250 million pounds of the pesticide are sprayed on American crops. The controversial herbicide is sprayed directly on wheat, barley, oats and beans that are not genetically modified, just before harvest, allowing the crops to be harvested sooner.

In this latest study, the EWG tested 45 samples of foods with conventionally grown oats. Of those 45 samples, all but two were found to contain glyphosate. Thirty-one out of the 45 samples had levels that were higher than what is considered safe for children.

General Mills and Quaker Oats company have dismissed the new research findings. Both companies claim that although the study finds glyphosate in their products, they are still within the regulatory limits set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

EWG president Ken Cook calls the statement by both companies “tone deaf.” "General Mills and Quaker Oats are relying on outdated safety standards used by a government agency that is notorious for neglecting new science on chemicals," Cook said in a EWG press release. 

Here’s a full list of the products tested for glyphosate by EWG:

Products with unsafe levels of glyphosate 

  • Quaker Old Fashioned Oats 
  • Lucky Charms (without marshmallows) 
  • Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal 
  • Bob's Red Mill Steel Cut Oats 
  • Back to Nature Classic Granola 
  • Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal 
  • Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal 
  • Giant Instant Oatmeal Original Flavor 
  • Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream 
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'n Honey 
  • Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats 'n Honey 
  • Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal 
  • Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisin and Almonds 
  • Quaker Steel Cut Oats 
  • Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal 
  • Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan 

Products with safe levels of glyphosate  

  • Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats
  • Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry
  • KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
  • Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters 
  • Bob's Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • Nature's Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats

Food safety is always a concern. If you are looking for alternatives for your breakfast table here are some options. (These items were included in the EWG study and found to have no harmful ingredients.) 

  • Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal 
  • Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original 
  • 365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats 
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar 
  • Nature's Path Organic Honey Almond Granola 

Get the best of ParentMap delivered right to your inbox.

Related Topics

Share this resource with your friends!