OMG! There Might Be Pesticides in Your Oatmeal


Ann Gabriel |

In a recent headline posted in Huffington Post last month, FDA confirmed the presence of Monsanto weed killer residues in oatmeal and baby food. The article was a republished press release from the non-profit watchdog group U.S. Right to Know. The watchdog group cited a study that revealed traces of glyphosate, the main ingredient in the pesticide Round-Up, in several oat-based products.

Pesticides in your oatmeal sounds pretty scary, most especially for people who eat oats regularly. Oats are said to lower cholesterol, burns fat and fills our body up with fiber, folate and potassium.’s research found out that the FDA found small amounts of glyphosate in several types of oat cereals. In a presentation at the North American Chemical Residue Workshop in July, Narong Chamkasem, a Chemist at the Food and Drug Administration in Atlanta, Georgia highlighted the amounts found in samples of instant oatmeal (maple brown sugar, cinnamon spice, peach and cream), non-instant steel cut oats, and infant oat cereal (plain, banana, and banana strawberry). These quantities ranged from 0.3 to 1.67 parts per million.

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world. Many health and agricultural experts say that humans don’t absorb glyphosate in the same way they do harmful chemicals like DDT, so it’s safe in low quantities—like what’s left on sprayed crops after they’re harvested, cleaned, and prepared for food sales.

In 2015, however, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a“probably human carcinogen” after studies linked it to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer that starts in cells called lymphocytes, which are part of the body’s immune system. Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues (such as the spleen and bone marrow.

Earlier this year, the FDA announced that it would begin testing for glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs.

The tolerable limit for glyphosate in the United States, set by the Environmental Protection Agency, is 30 ppm. The quantities found in the research presented in July, then, were well below the US limit. The quantities were even below Europe’s stricter limit of 20 ppm.

The oatmeal testing was done as part of an independent research project and the results have not been published or peer-reviewed. Preliminary findings of the FDA’s other product testing have found no glyphosate residues over the allowable limit and the results are being verified.

Brand names were not included in the labeling of these samples.

However, earlier this year, Quaker Oats faces a new lawsuit over its false advertising claim that it is offering 100 percent natural oatmeal. Tests showed the presence of the herbicide glyphosate deemed as a human carcinogen in a sample of its Quick 1-Minute Oatmeal.

A class-action lawsuit was filed in the US claiming Quaker Oats have high levels of glyphosate herbicide. It is the same weed killer found in Monsanto’s Roundup that was labeled as cancer-causing by the WHO in 2015.

Quaker Oats allegedly deceived consumers by capitalizing on the market’s demand of healthful, natural products. Quaker Oats assured the public that glyphosate were not used in its milling process, claiming that this was not possible, as Quaker Oats are implementing a strict cleansing procedure in producing high quality products such as oatmeals.

Farmers in the United States were said to be commonly using glyphosate during pre-harvest. However, no studies are available to find levels high enough to raise warnings.

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