Environment The working group, which has links to the organic industry, found that all 21 of the products tested had glyphosate levels that were "higher than what the EWG researchers consider to be protective of children's health."
Manufacturers claim their food is safe, and the findings are not outstanding: the group also found in October that most of the cereals it tested contained glyphosate, the main ingredient of Roundup's killing.
The new report follows two prominent legal values that determined that the herbicide caused cancer in the plaintiffs.
A federal jury unanimously stated in March that Roundup was a "significant factor" in causing a California man's cancer. And last month, California lawyers asked manufacturer Monsanto to pay over $ 2 billion to a couple who said long-term exposure to the product caused their cancer.
The latter judgment was appealed, but about 1
1,000 similar cases are pending in state and federal courts.
Pharmaceutical giant Bayer AG, which now owns Monsanto, claims that the product is safe.
A spokeswoman for the company's crop science subsidiary, Charla Lord, said that a "comprehensive body science" and "the conclusions of regulators around the world" show that "glyphosate-based products are safe when used as specified."
General Mills, who produces all the products tested in the EWG report, said in a statement that "top priority is food safety."
The company noted that "most crops grown in fields use some kind of pesticides, and trace amounts are found in most of the food we all eat", but said it was working to "minimize the use of pesticides on the ingredients we use in our foods. "
General Mills did not react directly when asked why it is reducing the use of pesticides when it is already considering that the products are safe.
How much glyphosate is too much?
An analysis published in February found that glyphosate can increase cancer risk by up to 41%, although researchers focused on those with "highest exposure" to the chemical, such as groundskeepers, who are more glyphosate-exposed than people can eat through snacks.
The herbicide can get into processed foods after use on oats growing farms, but none of the levels in any food in the new report has exceeded the environmental protection law's legal limits.
"It is not surprising that at very low levels of pesticides, including glyphosate, are found in foods," said Dr. Paolo Boffetta, Assistant Director of Population Science at Mount Sinai's Tisch Cancer Institute. "In general, these levels are unlikely to cause health effects to consumers."
Nevertheless, it is important that people know if there are glyphosate or other chemicals in the food, even at very low levels, says Boffetta, who was not involved in the reports or analysis.
General Mills stressed in his statement that it followed "strict rules" set by "experts on [Food and Drug Administration] and EPA." Bayer's Lord said, "The reality is that regulatory authorities have strict rules on pesticide remnants, and the levels in this report are far below the established safety standards."
However, the environmental group uses a far more conservative health benchmark that includes an additional buffer for children, as "early life exposure can be more important for development later in life," said Dr. Alexis Temkin, an EWG research fellow as co-author. both reports and talked to CNN last year.
Manufacturers dispute that threshold. In an October statement, General Mills said that "the extremely low level of pesticides mentioned in recent news reports is a small part of the amount allowed by the government."
In April, EPA said that proper use of glyphosate constitutes "no risk to public health" and that the chemical "is not a carcinogen", a carcinogenic chemical. However, a body of the World Health Organization, the International Cancer Research Board, stated in 2015 that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans."
A separate WHO panel assessing pesticide residues said in 2016 that "glyphosate is unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from dietary exposure", adding a dizzying array of conflicting findings, but the International Cancer Research Board has vigorously defended its conclusion.
The agency wrote in 2018 that "it has been the subject of outstanding, concerted efforts to undermine the evaluation, program and organization." These attacks, it said, "have largely been from the agro-chemical industry and associated media."
A War History
A 2017 CNN internal e-mail survey from Monsanto appeared to show corporate executives attempting to discredit the International Agency for Research on Cancer Report before it was even released.
A leader's email entitled "RE: IARC Planning" suggested that the company ghostwrite parts of a 2015 study in which experts rejected the agency's assessment that glyphosate could cause cancer. A Monsanto spokeswoman told CNN at the time that the study was not the ghostwritten and was "working on the glyphosate expert panel."
Although the EPA has maintained that glyphosate is safe, CNN's investigation also claimed questions about the industry's influence on federal agencies.
A Monsanto leader wrote in an international e-mail for 2015, such as an EPA official offering to remedy another agency's review of glyphosate and said, "If I can kill this, I should get a medal."
The company has denied unpleasant influence over regulators. And its parent company, Bayer Crop Science, criticized the Environmental Group in its latest statement to CNN. "The group behind the new report has a long history of spreading misinformation about pests," spokeswoman Lord said.
EWG, a non-profit organization based in Washington, denied these allegations. Bayer's criticism "must be taken with a grain of salt," EWG President Ken Cook said in a statement. In light of the lawsuit, he said Bayer "was desperate to keep hiding the truth."
Although it claims to be an independent organization, EWG recognizes the support of the organic industry, saying that its "general support and events partners" include the Organic Valley and Stonyfield Farms. Organic foods that are not labeled cannot be grown with most synthetic drugs, including glyphosate.
The group also has a "joint service agreement" with the Organic Voices Action Fund, a non-profit organization funded by companies such as Nature's Path and Annies – both of which made grain.
CNN's Holly Yan contributed to this report.