Corporations Can Legally Put Carcinogens in Our Food Without Warning Labels
By Matthew Rozsa,
Posted August 12, 2019
A recent study by the Environmental Working Group revealed something horrifying: Glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, was present in 17 of the 21 oat-based cereal and snack products at levels considered unsafe for children. That includes six different brands of Cheerios, one of the most popular American cereals.
I’ve written before about the limits of corporate free speech when it comes to public safety, but on that occasion I discussed this insofar as it involved corporate-sponsored climate change denialism. Yet here we have something more tangible, more direct: The safe glyphosate limit for children is 160 parts per billion (ppb), yet Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch has 833 parts per billion and regular Cheerios has 729 ppb. While the potential risks of glyphosate are fiercely debated, many scientists believe that it is linked to cancer.
So if there are unsafe levels of glyphosate in a cereal popular with children, why isn’t this disclosed on the cereal boxes? The complicated answer has to do with a legal case that defined free speech as something that non-human persons, like corporations, have a “right” to, in a sense. More…