General Mills Inc has been issued a class action lawsuit by a Florida woman claiming that the company did not properly warn consumers about trace amounts of the herbicide glyphosate in their Cheerios cereal brands.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has labeled glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, as a probable carcinogen in 2015. Since then lawsuits have been coming up accusing Monsanto and associated companies of not properly warning consumers of the potential dangers that their products pose to their health.
Earlier this month, Monsanto was ordered by a California court to pay Dewayne Johnson, a groundskeeper who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer) $289 Million in reparations. The company was accused of acting with “malice” and not informing consumers that their products can “substantially” contribute to cancer.
Erin Elizabeth, founder of Health Nut News and wife of Dr. Joseph Mercola, predicts that the recent California ruling has opened the door to a slew of potential lawsuits against companies whose products contain glyphosate.
“The brave woman suing General Mills over Cheerios lives right near us here in Florida. Her name is Mounira Doss…There are thousands waiting in the wings also suing Monsanto. We imagine the same will happen with General Mills. As we see more sue Cheerios I imagine that mainstream will continue to barely report on it.” – Erin Elizabeth
Just days after the California jury ruled against Monsanto, a non-profit organization known as the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released laboratory tests revealing ‘high levels’ of the herbicide in “almost three-fourths of the food products tested,” including Cheerios, Lucky Charms, and Quaker Oats.
However, as reported by Fox Business, “makers of the foods EWG tested said they and their suppliers operate within U.S. government safety guidelines and dismissed the group’s findings as irrelevant.”
The scientists at EWG consider glyphosate levels higher than 160 parts per billion to be “above the safety threshold for children. Notably, even about one-third of the samples “made with organically grown oats” also contained glyphosate, though at lower levels than the non-organic variety.
General Mills insists that they are not legally accountable because they follow the guidelines set up by the EPA and work to lessen the amount of pesticides present in their products.
“The EPA has researched this issue and has set rules that we follow as do farmers who grow crops including wheat and oats. We continue to work closely with farmers, our suppliers and conservation organizations to minimize the use of pesticides on the crops and ingredients we use in our foods.” – General Mills
Monsanto claims that the EWG is “spreading misleading information” and “fearmongering rather than contributing useful and accurate information.”
“Even at the highest level reported by the EWG (1,300 ppb), an adult would have to eat 118 pounds of the food item every day for the rest of their life to reach the EPA’s limit.” – Monsanto
As the EWG points out, earlier this year internal emails uncovered by nonprofit US Right To Know (USRTK) show us that food samples tested by the FDA show a “fair amount” of glyphosate, although the actual data has not been released.
“I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them.” – FDA Chemist Richard Thompson
The EWG argues that glyphosate should not be present in breakfast cereals at all, as it ultimately puts children at the greatest risk.
“The EPA has calculated that 1-to-2-year-old children are likely to have the highest exposure, at a level 2x greater than California’s No Significant Risk Level and 230x EWG’s health benchmark…Parents should not have to wonder whether feeding their children these heathy foods will also expose them to a pesticide that increases the risk of cancer.” – EWG