Twenty-one oat-based cereals and snacks, including the iconic Cheerios, tested positive for glyphosate, the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup blamed for causing cancer. The vast majority of the products had levels of glyphosate beyond what an environmental watchdog considers safe for children.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) conducted the tests on several General Mills products, including six varieties of Cheerios and 14 General Mills’ Nature Valley products, including granola bars.
The highest levels of glyphosate were found in Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, with 833 parts per billion, and Cheerios, with 729 parts per billion. EWG considers anything higher than 160 parts per billion to be unsafe for children.
Of the 21 products tested, the four that tested below 160 parts per billion were Honey Nut Cheerios; Nature Valley Fruit & Nut Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars, Dark Chocolate & Nut; Nature Valley Sweet & Salty Nut granola bars, Cashew; and Nature Valley Soft-Baked Oatmeal Squares, Cinnamon Brown Sugar.
Last October, the group found glyphosate in dozens of Cheerios and Quaker brands, which sent chills around the world. Two months prior, in a landmark trial, a California jury ordered Roundup maker Monsanto to pay a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding exposure to glyphosate in Roundup contributed to his fatal non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis. The judgment was later reduced to $78 million.
Since then, Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer AG last year, has been to trial two additional times over allegations that its weed killer causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In March, another San Francisco jury awarded $80 million a man who developed the disease after years of using Roundup; and in May, Monsanto was hit with a $2 billion verdict in a case brought by an elderly couple who had both been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
There are an additional 13,000 lawsuits pending against Bayer/Monsanto over claims that Roundup causes cancer. Bayer continues to fight those claims.
Beasley Allen is investigating cases involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma related to the commercial application of Roundup/glyphosate. For more information, contact John Tomlinson, Rhon Jones or Grant Cofer in our Toxic Torts Section.