For immediate release: September 9, 2018

Controversial pesticide found in food products Canadians eat regularly like Cheerios, Timbits and hummus

A coalition demands stronger laws to protect us from glyphosate, a pesticide linked to cancer

Ottawa, Ont. – New testing conducted by an independent lab found glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, in common children’s lunch foods and snacks sold in Canada.

The testing, commissioned by the Coalition for Action on Toxics, revealed that some products from Canada’s favourite foods such as Cheerios, Tim Hortons Timbits and bagels, Catelli multigrain spaghetti and Fontaine Santé hummus all contain glyphosate. In 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Cancer Research Agency declared glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.”

“It is disconcerting that this harmful pesticide is consistently showing up in food products that most children eat daily. Exposure adds up,” says Muhannad Malas with Environmental Defence. “Growing scientific evidence and international regulatory action show that Canadians should be concerned.”

Chickpea and wheat-based products were among the highest contaminated because these crops are often sprayed with glyphosate just weeks before they are harvested. Canadian growers are concerned about current levels of contamination because of impacts on exports due to higher standards in other countries.

In a much larger study conducted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, glyphosate was found in more than 30 per cent of food products tested, and in some cases was above Health Canada’s “safe” limits of contamination.

An American court recently ruled that glyphosate contributed to an American citizen’s cancer, and that Monsanto knowingly downplayed the risks using fraudulent science and backdoor negotiations with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Health Canada worked in close collaboration with the U.S. EPA in its evaluation of glyphosate, concluding in 2017 to continue to allow the use of glyphosate for another 15 years. In August 2017, Équiterre, Environmental Defence and its partners filed a Notice of Objection to the re-evaluation of glyphosate, raising concerns that the evaluation either failed to consider or even dismissed important scientific evidence on risks to public health and ecosystems.

“Canadian families need to be assured that government regulations are adequately protecting them,” says Karen Ross with Équiterre “But how can we be confident when we know that Canada’s closest ally in its evaluation of glyphosate used fraudulent science and negotiated with Monsanto to downplay risks?”

The coalition is demanding the government to reform and strengthen Canada’s cornerstone laws governing the regulation of toxics: the Pest Control Products Act and the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

For the full report, including the food testing results, please visit: whatsinyourlunch.ca

About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (www.environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.

About ÉQUITERRE (www.equiterre.org): Équiterre offers concrete solutions to accelerate the transition towards a society in which individuals, organizations and governments make ecological choices that are both healthy and equitable.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Sarah Jamal, Environmental Defence, sjamal@environmentaldefence.ca, 416-323-9521 ext. 251 (work), 905-921-7786 (cell)

Camille Gagné-Raynauld, Équiterre, cgraynauld@equiterre.org, 514 605-2000