Multiple media outlets are reporting that a new study has found the pesticide glyphosate in a number of popular breakfast foods and cereals marketed to children.
But before you go tossing your Quaker oatmeal, Captain Crunch and Wheaties in the trash, here’s a few reassuring facts.
First, consider the source. The source of these media reports is the Environmental Working Group, an organization that profits off unnecessarily scaring moms about safe and affordable products, harming minority-owned small businesses and lying to the general public about consumer goods and food products all while acting as the ad agency for the organic food industry. And boy, do they profit off this nonsense.
Also, consider that the news stories all seem to parrot what EWG says. A quick review of a few stories offer responses from food companies but no analysis from actual toxicologists or those who understand how the body interacts with chemicals.
But of course, wonky, super-scienc-y (read: boring) stories are hardly going to get clicks. What does? Super scary suggestions that you're feeding your kid a toxic does of pesticides along with their morning chow.
In fact, the news stories seem to rely heavily on the very unscientific work done by the EWG itself (so much for independent studies). One story says earnestly that the EWG “discovered trace amounts of the most widely used herbicide in the country in oats, granolas and snack bars. Thirty-one out of 45 tested products had levels higher than what some scientistsconsider safe for children.”
The key words here are “some scientists.” EWG doesn’t have any trouble finding activist scientists who are willing to advance their pet green causes at the cost of good science. Activist scientists have become a major problem within the scientific community and many are leading figures in professional medial and scientific organizations. They’re always willing to suggest grave danger and prop up conspiracy theories about industry–that they view needs far more regulation.
The truth is, glyphosate is not carcinogenic. Nor do the trace levels of glyphosate (which are there because farmers use glyphosate as a pesticide while growing crops that eventually get turned into cereal) pose any sort of risk to consumers—including kids. These residues are at such low levels, that it can’t possibly harm those who eat these products. And what EWG doesn’t ever mention is that the EPA constantly monitors food for pesticide residue to ensure it’s below safe levels.
The other thing EWG will never mention is that everything sold in the grocery store has trace levels of pesticide residue and guess what? Even expensive, trendy and EWG-prefered organic cereals have trace levels of pesticides because just like conventionally grown food, organic produce is also grown using pesticides (just a different class).
I really can’t stand these sorts of stories that freak out vulnerable parents and might have the effect of making them skip healthy cereals (is there anything better more healthy than oatmeal for kids?).
The EWG is an unethical environmental group that does nothing but lie to their followers and make life harder for farmers, food companies, parents and all consumers.
Don’t buy their organic baloney.