Report: Cheerios, other cereals contaminated by weed killer found in Roundup

Photo: Roundup Cropped Photo: Y'amal / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

(CNN) - An environmental advocacy group says several popular breakfast foods have the main ingredient of the weed killer Roundup in them.

Cheerios and Nature Valley products are among the 21 foods in the Environmental Working Group’s report cited as containing trace amounts of glyphosate.

There is a difference of opinion on the safety of glyphosate among oversight agencies. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency stated it was not a carcinogen in April, but the UN’s World Health Organization said in 2015 that the substance was “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

Last month, a California jury ordered Roundup maker Monsanto to pay a couple more than $2 billion for their cancers after long-term exposure to the product.

General Mills, which makes Cheerios, admits pesticide residue can make its way into its products.

But it says the levels are much lower than what the federal government allows. None of the levels found in any food products in the EWG report exceeded the EPA’s legal limits.

A University of Washington analysis published in February found that glyphosate can increase cancer risk by up to 41 percent, CNN reported.

That research focused on people with high exposure to the chemical, like groundskeepers.