On 10 August, a California state jury ordered US-based Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages to Dewayne Lee Johnson, a former groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District in the San Francisco Bay area, who has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The EWG found there was trace amounts of glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the country, in oats, granolas, and snack bars.
We are deeply disappointed by the tone-deaf response of General Mills and the Quaker Oats Company to the news that EWG research has found a toxic weed killer in their products at levels of concern to human health-especially the health of kids. Producing healthy, wholesome food is Quaker's number one priority, and we've been doing that for more than 140 years.
The World Health Organization says glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen", and California lists it as a chemical "known to the state to cause cancer".
In a statement to FOX Business regarding the report, a General Mills' spokesperson says, "Our products are safe and without questions they meet regulatory safety levels". EWG's Faber is skeptical of EPA's glyphosate limits.
EWG used its own, more stringent standards to conclude that products with excessive levels of the herbicide included Quaker Old Fashioned Oats, Cheerios, Quaker Dinosaur Egg Instant Oats, Great Value Instant Oats, and Back to Nature Classic Granola.
Monsanto's reaction in a statement was that the company was "sympathetic to Mr Johnson and his family" but it would "continue to vigorously defend this product, which has a 40-year history of safe use".
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The level considered safe to consume is 160 ppb.
CHARLES: What I find most interesting is the fact that the jury did not believe or give credibility to the sort of the official institutions that are responsible for evaluating safety of a chemical. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled glyphosate a carcinogen in 1985, but reversed its position in 1991. "Comparatively, from everything that I see, this is a small risk", said Gould, who led a committee studying the safety of genetically engineered crops for the National Academy of Medicine. In the U.S., the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) labeled glyphosate a carcinogen in 1985, but reversed its position in 1991.
The lawsuit is just the first part of what could be a decades-long legal fight over glyphosate.
"Australian farmers can continue to use glyphosate in accordance with the instructions of the label, knowing it is safe to do so".
Glyphosate was even found in a few organic products, though most had non-detectable levels. Once the oats are transported to us, we put them through our rigorous process that thoroughly cleanses them (de-hulled, cleaned, roasted and flaked).
She says since oats are an important part of a diet, people should not avoid eating the products based on the study.
"Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any regulatory limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe for human consumption".