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10 Food Companies Join EWG Glyphosate Petition

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10 food manufacturers and retailers have joined EWG’s petition to sharply limit glyphosate residues allowed on oats and prohibit the pesticide’s use as a pre-harvest drying agent. 

The following companies have joined EWG’s petition: Amy’s Kitchen, Clif Bar & Company, Earth’s Best Organic, GrandyOats, the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, KIND Healthy Snacks, Lundberg Family Farms, Organic Valley, Patagonia Provisions and PCC Community Markets. The amended petition was filed today.

MegaFood, Ben & Jerry’s, Stonyfield Organic, MOM’s Organic Market, Nature’s Path, One Degree Organic Foods, National Co+op Grocers and Happy Family Organics joined EWG’s original petition, which was filed in September.

“No parent should worry whether feeding their children healthy oat-based foods will also expose them to a chemical linked to cancer,” said Colin O’Neil, EWG’s Legislative Director. “We applaud food companies for standing with EWG to reduce the amount of glyphosate allowed on oats.”

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is mostly used as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybeans.

But it is also increasingly sprayed on oats just before harvest as a drying agent, or desiccant. Glyphosate kills the crop, drying it out so it can be harvested sooner than if the plant were allowed to die naturally. This allows easier harvesting but also increases the likelihood that the pesticide makes it into foods.

The EPA’s legal limit on glyphosate residues is 30 parts per million, or ppm. The petition asks the EPA to set a more protective standard of 0.1 ppm, which was the legal limit in 1993.

Over the past 25 years, the EPA has increased the amounts of glyphosate residue allowed on oats 300-fold. The first increase, to 20 ppm, was granted in response to a 1997 petition from Monsanto, when farmers around the world first began using glyphosate widely as a late-season desiccant. It was increased to the current 30 ppm level in 2008.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.