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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which is quietly starting to test U.S. foods for residues of a weed killing chemical linked to cancer, has found the residues in a variety of oat products, including plain and flavored oat cereals for babies, according to information obtained by consumer watchdog group U.S. Right to Know.
Testing done by an FDA chemist showed residues of the pesticide known as glyphosate in several types of infant oat cereal, including banana strawberry- and banana-flavored varieties. Glyphosate was also detected in “cinnamon spice” instant oatmeal; “maple brown sugar” instant oatmeal and “peach and cream” instant oatmeal products, as well as others. In the sample results shared, the levels ranged from nothing detected in several different organic oat products to 1.67 parts per million, according to the presentation.
Glyphosate, which is the key ingredient in Monsanto Co.’s Roundup herbicide, is the most widely used weed killer in the world, and concerns about glyphosate residues in food spiked after the World Health Organization in 2015 said a team of international cancer experts determined glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Other scientists have raised concerns about how heavy use of glyphosate is impacting human health and the environment.
The oat results follow the revelation that the FDA also has found glyphosate in samples of U.S. honey, including some samples that showed residue levels double the legally allowed limit in the European Union, according to documents obtained by U.S. Right to Know through a Freedom of Information Act request.
Honey and oats are not considered part of the special assignment that the FDA is conducting on glyphosate residues in food, according to the agency. The four commodities that are part of that program – corn, soy, eggs and milk – have not shown any residue levels that exceed legal tolerance, though analysis is ongoing, according to the FDA.
The residue tests come as both European and U.S. regulators are evaluating glyphosate impacts for risks to humans and the environment. The EPA is holding four days of meetings in mid-October with an advisory panel to discuss cancer research pertaining to glyphosate, and debate is ongoing over whether or not the team of international scientists who last year declared it a probable human carcinogen were right nor not.
An article on the oat findings written by Carey Gillam, research director of U.S. Right to Know, can be found here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carey-gillam/fda-tests-confirm-oatmeal_b_12252824.html
U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit organization, working to expose what the food industry doesn’t want us to know. We do research and communications on the failures of the corporate food system. We stand up for the right to know what is in our food, and how it affects our health.