Think having oatmeal, granola, or oat-based cereal for breakfast is healthy?
Results of independent laboratory tests funded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG, ewg.org) found that most of the popular oat cereals are laced with significant amounts of the cancer-causing weed killer, Roundup. This includes Cheerios, oatmeal, and plus granola, snack bars, and even Goldfish crackers. (article)
Roundup, chemical name glyphosate, is an herbicide that has long been linked to cancer by the World Health Organization. Last year, in a $289 million settlement in California, a school groundskeeper claimed his cancer was caused by the chemicals he sprayed around the schoolyard. He won.
Monsanto Corporation, the maker of Roundup, has been in legal battles for many years over the toxicity of this product. They are notorious for suppressing studies that bear out the toxic effects of this weed killer. Besides causing cancer, glyphosate harms the microbiome of animals and humans alike, killing beneficial bacteria and promoting pathogenic ones. Many of those filing lawsuits are battling severe illnesses and point to the growing body of evidence that a healthy microbiome is critical for all aspects of human health, from weight control to brain function.
How Glyphosate Harms Us
The main way glyphosate harms our bodies is that, because it is structurally related to glyphosate, it substitutes for glycine in our body’s proteins, collagens, and gelatin. This explains why glyphosate can cause so many serious health conditions, such as:
- chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- pulmonary edema
- adrenal insufficiency
- Alzheimer’s disease
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- Parkinson’s disease
- prion diseases
- mitochondrial disease
- non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- neural tube defects
- fatty liver disease
- kidney failure
Tragically, because glyphosate is a drying agent, US farmers are now using it on wheat and other grains right in the fields, to make them easier to harvest. This causes two problems: it suppresses the beneficial bacteria in the plant, which help our digestion, and the carcinogenic glyphosate ends up in our food.
How Far Does The Problem Go?
The EWG-funded study evaluated the glyphosate content of several popular oat-based foods. There was glyphosate found in all but two of 45 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats. Almost three-fourths of those samples had glyphosate levels higher than what EWG scientists consider acceptable for children to consume. (EWG’s child-protective health benchmark for daily exposure to glyphosate in food is 160 ppb.) About one-third of 16 samples made with organically grown oats also had glyphosate, but all at levels well below EWG’s health benchmark. To find out