Last year (2019), a report published by The Environmental Working Group (EWG) showed that virtually all of 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. See:
Last year’s 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.)
This test confirmed EWG’s report from tests in July and October of 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. See:
This week, EWG is reporting that Kellogg is pledging to stop using glyphosate in the harvesting of grains by 2025.
Kellogg’s will take steps to phase out the use of the herbicide glyphosate to dry oats and wheat before harvest, eliminating use of the potentially harmful chemical in the main ingredients of many of the company’s breakfast cereals and other foods.
Kellogg’s pledged to work with its wheat and oat suppliers to end the use of the herbicide, sold under the name Roundup, as a pre-harvest drying agent in all of its major crop markets, including the U.S., by 2025, according to a statement published on the company’s website and reported on by the Washington Post.
“We applaud Kellogg’s for working with their suppliers to address the risks posed by glyphosate,” said EWG President Ken Cook. “It’s no surprise that consumers don’t want a controversial weedkiller in their cereal. Now it’s time for General Mills and Quaker to listen to their customers and fall in behind Kellogg’s leadership and do the same – end this use of this notorious weedkiller.” (Full Press Release.)
Why America’s Cereal Producers Cannot Eliminate Glyphosate from Their Products
While this is encouraging news that Kellogg will eventually phase out its usage of glyphosate, it is impossible for any company producing products from American grains to remove glyphosate from their products today. Even getting the other cereal producers like General Mills and Quaker to stop their grain farmers from using glyphosate to desiccate will not solve the problem.
The assumption 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, and stopping this practice will solve the glyphosate contamination problem of non-GMO grains. 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 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, this is not the case. My own testing and investigating into this matter with my company Healthy Traditions, shows that even USDA Certified Organic products today, which are NOT sprayed with RoundUp, still have significant amounts of glyphosate contamination. See:
Also, even in harvesting conventional (non-organic) crops, probably less than 50% of grain farmers today use the process of desiccation by spraying RoundUp on their crops to kill them before harvest. See:
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 while stopping the practice of desiccating pre-harvest crops with glyphosate is potentially a step in the right direction, it will not solve the problem until the problem of GMO crops sprayed with glyphosate is also addressed.
Why is Kellogg Waiting Until 2025 to Stop Using Glyphosate?
The most likely reason why Kellogg is waiting until 2025 to have its farmers stop using glyphosate to desiccate pre-harvest crops, is because desiccating pre-harvest crops allows them to be profitable, and the practice of desiccation is not likely to stop. Something to replace glyphosate will need to be found to be just as effective, and there is no guarantee that whatever replaces glyphosate will be any safer for human health.
This is the same reason why the U.S. Government cannot just simply ban glyphosate outright. It would result in economic catastrophe, and severe food shortages worldwide.
This is the modern day result of Big Ag, where less than 1% of our population now feeds the other 99% of the population. To learn more, download my free eBook:
When my company, Healthy Traditions, found out back in 2014 that almost all of our USDA Certified organic grains were contaminated with the herbicide glyphosate, we stopped selling them, and began to look for grains that were not contaminated. We spent a lot of money testing grains from small scale producers in the U.S. that were claiming to be certified organic, but almost all of them tested positive for glyphosate.
Today we test ALL of our food products for the presence of glyphosate, and have been doing so for over 5 years, because the U.S. agricultural system is not likely to change anytime soon.