Glyphosate pesticide found in popular cereals

CEH’s independent testing of a variety of American cereals found many common brands of conventional products contained residue levels of the weed killer glyphosate. This toxic chemical has been shown to cause birth defects in laboratory animals and disrupt hormone function. Recently, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen.”

What is glyphosate?
Glyphosate, also known as Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide in the US. It is the most commonly used pesticide in parks and is even found in foods that adults and kids love.

Is glyphosate hazardous for kids?
Absolutely. The Guardian said it best: “Because a child’s developing body is more sensitive to exposure than adults and takes in more of everything – relative to their size, children eat, breathe, and drink much more than adults – they are particularly vulnerable to these toxic chemicals.” (Source: The EU and Glyphosate: It’s Time to Put Children’s Health Before Pesticides)

Learn more about glyphosate in our latest infographic.

What foods are grown using glyphosate?
Corn and soybeans are commonly grown using Roundup, but is also used on hundreds of other crops. Glyphosate is sometimes used to dry out oats just prior to harvest.

What foods are contaminated with glyphosate?
The best way to avoid glyphosate is by knowing which foods contain it. Since oats can be prepared for harvest using the pesticide Roundup, oat cereals were the likely culprit.

CEH recently tested a variety of cereals and found glyphosate contamination in the following products:

Cereal Results:*

Beech-Nut Oatmeal (baby) 735 ppb
Beech-Nut Organic Oatmeal (baby) none detected
Cascadian Farms Organic Honey Nut O’s none detected
Comforts Apple & Oatmeal with Cinnamon Baby Food Puree none detected
Gerber Single Grain Oatmeal (baby) 545 ppb

Great Value O’s Oat Cereal 1220 ppb
Post Honey Bunches of Oats-Crunchy Honey Roasted none detected
Honey Nut Cheerios 557 ppb
Trader Joe’s Joe’s O’s Toasted Whole Grain Oats Cereal 672 ppb
Kroger Toasted Oats Cereal 346 ppb
Market Pantry Toasted Oats Whole Grain Oat Cereal 826 ppb
Malt O Meal Marshmallow Mateys (cereal) 303 ppb

Quaker Life Original Multigrain Cereal (cereal) 1254 ppb
Quaker Oatmeal Squares with a hint of Brown Sugar (cereal) 2015 ppb
Signature Kitchens Honey Nut Toasted Oats 762 ppb

*These results are consistent with a U.S. Food and Drug Administration study of oatmeal (300 – 1670 ppb of glyphosate).

Other Results:

Enfamil Prosobee Soy For Sensitive Tummy Formula none detected
Gerber Graduate Cereal Bars Strawberry Banana 142 ppb
Nature Valley Soft Baked Oatmeal Squares Cinnamon Brown Sugar (bars) 39 ppb
Similac Soy Isomil For Fussiness & Gas Formula none detected
Up&Up Soy Infant Formula with Iron none detected

How concerned should I be about CEH’s test results?
Very concerned. The research into glyphosate exposure shows that these substances can alter and damage the delicate functions of our bodies’ natural hormones, making them part of a group of chemicals known as endocrine disrupting chemicals, or EDCs.

Is it difficult to avoid glyphosate-contaminated food?
You can avoid this toxic chemical by buying organic cereals! Glyphosate is not used in the production of organic food. CEH recently tested two organic cereal products and neither were contaminated with glyphosate.

A more permanent solution is to get dangerous chemicals like glyphosate and other hormone disruptors banned. Add your name now.

What is the takeaway here?
Toxic glyphosate is avoidable in most cases. Whenever possible, buy organic cereals.

Listen: Caroline Cox, CEH’s Staff Scientist, touches on why it’s so important to avoid these killer oats. Listen now.

Information Sources

What is glyphosate?

Is glyphosate hazardous for kids?

What foods are grown using glyphosate?

What foods are contaminated with glyphosate?

How concerned should I be about CEH’s test results?

Is it difficult to avoid glyphosate-contaminated food?