Skip to Main Content

Monsanto Roundup Chemical, Glyphosate, May be Lurking in Your Favorite Cereal


Every morning, millions of Americans turn to Cheerios, Quaker Oats, and other popular oat-based cereals in a quest to provide their kids with healthy breakfast options.

Unfortunately, a potentially dangerous chemical could be lurking in many of those foods.

That chemical is called glyphosate, and it’s also the active ingredient in Monsanto’s controversial Roundup weed killer.

High Levels of Glyphosate Detected in 31 of 45 Breakfast Foods Tested

According to a report issued last Wednesday by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), elevated levels of glyphosate were detected in 31 of 45 breakfast food samples made from oats grown in fields sprayed with herbicides.

The highest levels of glyphosate (greater than 1,000 ppb) were detected in two samples of Quaker Old-Fashioned Oats.

Three samples of General Mills’ much-beloved Cheerios breakfast cereal had glyphosate levels ranging from 470 ppb to 530 ppb.

Just a dozen of the food samples had levels of glyphosate lower than EWG’s health benchmark, ranging from 10 ppb to 120 ppb.

Only two samples had no detectable glyphosate.

Glyphosate Declared a Probable Carcinogen by WHO’s IARC

“I was shocked,” Dr. Jennifer Lowry, a toxicologist and head of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Environmental Health, told CBS News shortly after the report was released.

“We don’t know a lot about the effects of glyphosate on children,” Lowry said. “And essentially we’re just throwing it at them.”

In 2015, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared glyphosate a “probable human carcinogen,” after its review linked the herbicide to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and its various sub-types.

Just last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency came to a contradictory conclusion. However, that finding  is quite controversial and disputed by many.

In fact,  Roundup lawsuit plaintiffs have even suggested that Monsanto unduly influenced the agency’s review.

How is Glyphosate Getting into Our Food?

According to the EWG, about 250 million pounds of glyphosate is sprayed on U.S. agricultural crops every year.

Most of this is in the form of Monsanto’s Roundup – the most popular weed killer in the world.

While Roundup has been on the market since 1974, its popularity increased even further with the introduction of “Roundup Ready Crops” in 1996.

These GMO seed varieties of corn and soybeans  were developed by Monsanto to be resistant to glyphosate.

However, glyphosate is also sprayed on non-GMO crops – including oats, barley, and beans – just prior to harvest, so that the plants will die sooner and allow for an earlier harvest.

Even if the herbicide isn’t used directly on oat and other grain crops, “drift” from nearby glyphosate-sprayed fields can invade – and sometimes even damage – any crops growing downwind.

How Dangerous is Glyphosate-Tainted Breakfast Cereal?

The federal government allows a maximum glyphosate residue on cereal grains of 30,000 parts per billion

That is far higher than the recommendations formulated by the EWG, which asserts that the current allowable limit is too low – especially for children with developing bodies.

“We’re certainly not saying put that bowl of Cheerios down now or you’re going to get cancer tomorrow. We’re saying a pesticide like this which has the ability to increase the risk of cancer has no place in food and particularly not foods that are marketed to children,” EWG Vice President Bill Walker said during a recent appearance on LA Today.

Among other things, the group is calling for research into the effects of long-term glyphosate exposure on children, which has never been studied.

A Varied Diet Can Help Protect Your Child

For parents who want to err on the side of caution, Lowry recommends they provide their children a varied diet that includes plenty of washed fruits and vegetables.

“Give your child a varied diet so they, one, learn how to eat different foods because sometimes kids get stuck if they’re only fed one thing,” she said. “Two, it changes what that exposure is to the healthy stuff and unfortunately the unhealthy stuff.”

Lowry also urged parents not to swear off oat-based cereals for their kids, as the grains are vital to a healthy diet.

California Jury Hits Monsanto with $289 Million Roundup Cancer Verdict

While Monsanto denies that Roundup has any link to cancer, a California jury recently found otherwise, awarding $289 million to a former school groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following repeated exposure to the company’s glyphosate-based weed killers.

According to his lawsuit, Dwayne Johnson sprayed Monsanto’s products 20-30 times per year during his career. It wasn’t unusual for weed killer to end up on his face.

Johnson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2014 and is now considered terminal. He accused Monsanto of concealing Roundup’s alleged dangers from the public.

A jury in San Francisco Superior Court agreed with Johnson, and returned a unanimous verdict in his favor earlier this month.

Among other things, jurors found that Monsanto acted with malice and oppression in failing to warn Johnson’s employer about the risks potentially associated with glyphosate.

The case was the first of some 8,000 currently pending Roundup lawsuits to go to trial

The verdict could be bad news for Bayer – which completed its acquisition of Monsanto last year – as many experts estimate that liability from Roundup lawsuits could potentially cost the company as much as $5 billion.

Contact Our Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consult by Calling 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here

Our Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers are investigating the health affects potentially associated with glyphosate and will post additional updates when new information becomes available.

In addition to being undefeated, our firm has won more than $1 billion for our clients and successfully represented many people who were harmed by toxic or defective products.

If you have questions regarding your legal rights and options following a cancer diagnosis that may be associated with Roundup exposure, call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here to send us a confidential email via our “Contact Us” form.

All consultations are free, and since we only work for a contingency fee, you’ll pay nothing unless we win your case.