Popular Cereal, Granola Found to Contain Unsafe Levels of RoundUp
You might want to think twice before pouring yourself a bowl of your favorite cereal or granola, as Monsanto’s likely-carcinogenic products have probably contaminated your breakfast. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide RoundUp has been found at unsafe levels in popular cereals such as Lucky Charms, Cheerios and Nature Valley granola, according to a recent study.
The study was published by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) – a philanthropic research group dedicated to studying the effects of toxic chemicals on children’s environmental safety. The group set a benchmark for safe levels of glyphosate in food products at 160 parts per billion (ppb), to test 45 conventional products and 16 organic products. Of those, 43 conventional products tested positive for glyphosate, while 5 organic products tested positive, though none of the organic products exceeded EWG’s safety benchmark.
The conventional products that tested high included Lucky Charms around 315 ppb; Quaker Dinosaur Egg Instant Oatmeal between 700 ppb; Quaker’s Old-Fashioned Oats between averaged 930 ppb; Nature Valley Granola Bars around 340 ppb; and Cheerios Whole Grain Oat Cereal averaged 497 ppb.
For a full list of the snacks and cereals tested for glyphosate look here.
EWG’s study was sparked by a recent lawsuit, which awarded $289 million to a man dying of cancer linked to his use of Monsanto’s RoundUp. Hopefully, this latest development will finally bring about the awareness needed for glyphosate-based products to be banned from use or highly regulated.
EWG says there are more than 250 million pounds of glyphosate sprayed on American crops – primarily on genetically modified “Roundup-ready” corn and soybean. Since grains aren’t harvested when they’re green, farmers spray RoundUp on wheat, barley, and oats to dry out the crops, forcing them to die faster, so they can be harvested earlier. This is how EWG suspects unsafe levels of glyphosate are getting into popular food products.
Monsanto has a long track record of dismissing and covering up significant evidence that its products are linked to cancer by hiring former big tobacco lawyers, supporting sympathetic scientists in government roles, and spending tens of millions in lobbying.
According to the Guardian, the company’s recent loss in court found “clear and convincing evidence” that its officials acted with “malice or oppression” in failing to adequately warn of the risks associated with its products.
Glyphosate has been banned for use in 40 different countries and recognized by the state of California’s Proposition 65 and by the World Health Organization as a carcinogen. Monsanto, Quaker, and other companies named in EWG’s study defended themselves saying that the levels found are still below legal limits.
But when the company who’s selling the carcinogenic product spends millions lobbying the legislators and has former board members setting those legal limits, legal doesn’t always equate to safe.
Scientists Just Inserted a Human Intelligence Gene Into Monkeys
A team of Chinese scientists recently inserted copies of a human gene believed to be associated with intelligence, into the brains of rhesus monkeys in an attempt to narrow the intellectual evolutionary gap. And according to their results, monkeys who were introduced to MCPH1 showed “remarkable” improvements in short-term memory.
The experiment sparked similar ethical concerns as when a Chinese scientist modified the genes of a human baby late last year, using CRISPR technology to give it HIV immunity.
But despite the dreadful image of an ape with near-human sentience, à la Cornelius from Planet of the Apes, the study arouses some interesting relevance to the ancient astronaut theory that humans may have been seeded by an advanced species from elsewhere in the cosmos.