Despite their image as a healthy snack, many of our oat-based foods, such as oatmeal, cereals, and breads, are tainted with pesticides.
In a recent study by environmental group, “Friends of the Earth” (FOE), 100% of 132 samples of oat cereal samples tested positive for the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide.
These samples were collected from 30 U.S. stores across 15 states.
The average level of the herbicide “glyphosate” in cereal samples was 360 parts per billion (ppb) – more than twice the levels recommended by scientists at the Environmental Working Group (EWG). According to the group, this rate is enough to pose a lifetime cancer risk in children. Some of the cereal samples contained residues tested as high as 931 ppb.
Posing an even greater risk were levels of glyphosate in pinto beans. They averaged around 509 ppb – 4.5 times high than the levels suggested by the EWG – with a maximum of 1,128 ppb.
These high levels of glyphosate could especially pose health risks to individuals living in the Midwest U.S., where herbicide use is commonly used on corn and soy.
One study found glyphosate present in 93% of participants, with higher levels detected in individuals living in rural areas and those who drank at least 24 ounces of caffeinated beverages per day.
High levels of glyphosate in women’s urine have also been linked to pregnancy complications, says study author Dr. Paul Winchester, Medical Director of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the Franciscan St. Francis Health system and professor of clinical pediatrics at Riley Hospital for Children in Indiana.
“In our study, which is ongoing, mothers with relatively higher levels of glyphosate were more likely to have shorter pregnancies and deliver babies with lower birth-weight. [These are] outcomes that everyone should be concerned about. … [They] have been linked to lower cognitive ability later in life and higher risk of metabolic syndrome.”
It’s easy to see how glyphosate may cause health problems across the board. If you’re concerned about these residues in your food, make an effort to protect yourself and your family. Eating organic (aka glyphosate-free) oatmeal for breakfast every morning is a very healthy way to start your day. You can also let your opinion be known about glyphosates by reaching out to food companies and tell them you prefer foods without glyphosate residues.