We are, quite literally, poisoning our kids. Action Alert!
Testing of children’s breakfast cereals from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has found that major brands, such as General Mills’ Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios, are contaminated with high levels of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto/Bayer’s Roundup herbicide. These results provide more evidence to support a ban on this dangerous herbicide.
The EWG test’s most shocking results include Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch and Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat cereals, which were found to contain 833 and 729 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate. These levels are significantly higher than what EWG scientists consider safe for children at 160 ppb.
ANH-USA’s own testing of breakfast items found similarly troubling levels of glyphosate, including 1,327.1 ppb glyphosate in an instant oatmeal product.
You won’t find the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) willing to act, however, since the agency believes, contrary to many others in the scientific community, there is nothing wrong with glyphosate. EPA tolerances for glyphosate range from 0.1 to 310 parts per million on a range of crops, not finished consumer products. Even these tolerances are unlikely to be enforced: in 2017, the agency issued a Draft Risk Assessment for Glyphosate concluding that glyphosate is unlikely to be carcinogenic to humans.
The EPA’s assessment conflicts with the World Health Organization’s classification of glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.” Who are we to believe?
There’s strong reason to believe that the EPA is working on behalf of Bayer/Monsanto. First, there’s EPA cronyism. We know that Jess Rowland, a top EPA official, carried through a promise to Monsanto to quash an effort by the Department of Health to conduct its own review of glyphosate. But that’s not all. A letter from a former EPA employee dying of cancer accused Rowland of having intimidated staff, compelling them to change reports to make them favorable to Monsanto. The letter also argues that the research on glyphosate supports categorizing it as a probable human carcinogen.
There are more examples of cronyism. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), the former chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology sent a letter to the head of the EPA, Gina McCarthy. He expressed his concern that certain EPA scientists who had been involved in the WHO’s report—the one that found glyphosate was probably carcinogenic—might compromise the agency’s ability to “fairly assess glyphosate based on sound science.” That’s like saying if you have scientific evidence that smoking causes cancer, you’re no longer able to evaluate the scientific evidence on smoking.
So, the cronies are stacking the deck in favor of Monsanto and its poison; no surprise there. But the science also seems clear. A former executive director of the National Academy of Sciences board on agriculture published an analysis comparing the WHO’s and the EPA’s evaluation of glyphosate. The analysis finds that, compared with the WHO review, the EPA did not review the pertinent science when evaluating glyphosate, and that the EPA disregarded scientific evidence of genotoxicity associated with glyphosate—that is, the ability of glyphosate to damage cells’ genetic material, which can cause mutations that lead to cancer.
To believe the EPA, we would also have to ignore the reams of other evidence pointing to the danger of glyphosate not just as a carcinogen but as a potential endocrine disruptor. Other work has shown that glyphosate may be the least dangerous aspect of Roundup: for many pesticides, the complete formulation—that is, the chemicals added to the active ingredient—can be up to 1,000 times more toxic than just the active ingredient.
We cannot rely on the EPA to do the right thing. We must continue to push Congress to issue a ban on glyphosate.
Action Alert! Tell Congress, with a copy to the EPA, to ban glyphosate. Please send your message immediately.