10 out of 36 oatmeal products tested contained traces of glyphosate which exceed the country’s legal limit.
Bad news for Quaker Oats. After a random inspection from Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA), glyphosate (the compound deemed to be “probably carcinogenic by the WHO last year) was detected in 10 out of 36 oatmeal products, exceeding the country’s legal limit. As a result, the country recalled nearly 62,000 kilograms of oatmeal.
EcoWatch relays that the ten products, including those from Quaker Oats brand, were found to have glyphosate residue levels between 0.1 parts per million (ppm) and 1.8 ppm. The country does not permit residue levels of glyphosate to exceed 0.1 ppm.
According to the China Post, most of the tainted oatmeal was imported from the U.S.’ Quakers’ Old Fashioned Quaker Oats and Quaker Quick 1-minute Oats that are sold at the country’s supermarkets. Other brands were also flagged, including Coah’s Oats, Bob’s Red Mill Instant Rolled Oats, Fifty50 Hearty Cut Oatmeal and McCann’s Imported Irish Oatmeal, Australia Fine Oat Flakes and oatmeal by Fengyuan Food. Companies that exceeded the regulated standard may face fines between NT$60,000-$200 million, or approximately USD$1,800-$6million.
Taiwan may be cracking down on excessive levels of glyphosate, but that’s because it has a zero tolerance policy on the carcinogenic compound in oatmeal products. In contrast, the United States allows a maximum level of 30 ppm. Compare that to 20 ppm in Japan and the European Union, 15 ppm in Canada and 01. ppm in Australia.
Taiwan has strict standards on the carcinogenic compound because the FDA has cited studies suggesting that high exposure to glyphosate in animals results in slight weight loss, enlargement of the liver and kidney inflammation.
Because glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s ‘RoundUp Ready’ herbicide for genetically modified (GM) crops, commercial cultivation of GMO crops is banned in the country. In fact, in December 2015, the country also banned schools across the nation from serving GMOs to students, citing health and safety concerns.
Concerned consumers in the U.S. from New York, California, and Illinois have filed a class action lawsuit challenging Quaker Oats’ claim of being “100 Percent Natural” despite having traces of the weed killer glyphosate found in its infamous oatmeal.
But, according to The New York Times, Quaker issued a defense, stating:
“Any levels of glyphosate that may remain are trace amounts and significantly below any limits which have been set by the EPA as safe for human consumption.”
It’s an uphill battle for activists in the U.S. who want the effects of the carcinogenic compound taken seriously. In other countries, such as Sri Lanka and Colombia, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s ‘RoundUp Ready’ herbicide has been banned.
Why does the United States tolerate high amounts of glyphosate when it’s been proven to contribute to health concerns such as depression, cancer, and even autism?
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