An advocacy organization, the Environmental Working Group, said on Wednesday that it had found traces of the pesticide glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, in certain popular breakfast cereals.
Thirty-one of the breakfast foods were found to contain levels of glyphosate that were higher than the level that EWG deems safe for children.
The study says that the herbicide was even found in a few organic products. Their levels were well below EWG's health benchmark, according to the report, authored by toxicologist Alexis Temkin.
The EWG report comes days after a California jury awarded almost $300 million to a man who claimed Roundup gave him lymphoma. "More than 800 scientific studies, the US EPA, the National Institutes of Health and regulators around the world have concluded that glyphosate is safe for use and does not cause cancer". However the FDA has not yet released any official results. The report claimed to have found glyphosate in products like Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Nature Valley Granola Bars and Quaker's Old Fashioned Oats. Producing healthy, wholesome food is Quaker's number one priority, and we've been doing that for more than 140 years. Lowry says even organic products can contain pesticides. Our view is that the government standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency pose real health risks to Americans - particularly children, who are more sensitive to the effects of toxic chemicals than adults.
The man said his daily exposure to large quantities of Roundup and other glyphosate-based weed killers while working as a school groundskeeper caused his illness.
Both Ms Simson and Mr Young said glyphosate formed a crucial part of Australian farmers' tool-kit to control invasive weeds in food crops.
The World Health Organization says glyphosate is a "probable carcinogen", and California lists it as a chemical "known to the state to cause cancer".
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According to Paul Pharoah, professor of cancer epidemiology at the University of Cambridge, the court's finding did not mean that glyphosate necessarily caused cancer. But several researchers have said the IARC's determination was bogus because there is no evidence that glyphosate causes cancer.
"I would eat Cheerios before and after that announcement", Gould said.
"Australian farmers can continue to use glyphosate in accordance with the instructions of the label, knowing it is safe to do so".
"Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are significantly below any regulatory limits and well within compliance of the safety standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) as safe for human consumption".
But makers of the foods EWG tested said they and their suppliers operate within USA government safety guidelines and dismissed the group's findings as irrelevant. "And essentially we're just throwing it at them".
This is against the prescribed safe levels of glyphosate spanning 0.1 to 310 parts per million on crops such as corn, soybeans, grains and some fruits, spanning.
"We don't think it does enough in particular to protect children", he said.