Oat flakes contaminated with mold toxins and glyphosate, German test says

Öko-Test, a German consumer magazine, has recently published the results of a new investigation for which they analyzed 29 oat flakes of different brands, purchased in supermarkets (including organic), discount stores, and shops, to detect the possible presence of some controversial substances such as heavy metals (nickel, cadmium, lead and arsenic), mineral oil components (MOSH / MOAH), mold toxins, and pesticides (including glyphosate).    

Several products were found to be contaminated with mold toxins. The so-called T-2 and HT-2 toxins are produced by fungi that attack oats in the fields and, as the German magazine recalls, they are cytotoxic and can weaken the immune system.    

In some samples, Öko-Test found levels of toxins which they defined as "strongly increased":  “with a serving of 40 grams, an adult weighing 60 kilograms already exceeds the Tolerable Daily Intake (TDI) established by the European Food Safety Authority. For a three-year-old child who weighs 15 kilograms, the exposure to these products would be more than four times the TDI”.    

However, German experts specify that mold toxins are not extremely dangerous, although it is always better to avoid eating the most contaminated products.    

Öko-Test found also glyphosate in some references. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) - as Öko-Test remembers - classifies glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans". The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), on the other hand, sees no risk in this regard.  Regardless of whether or not it is dangerous to human health, one thing is certain: glyphosate damages biodiversity.    

Glyphosate is not the only pesticide found in some samples. The laboratory in charge also detected low levels of the pesticide chlormequat in two organic products.    

Finally, some oat flakes also contain traces of MOSH, components of mineral oil that tend to accumulate in the human body.    

Thanks to this test, a supplier withdrew its product from the market, after discovering that it was contaminated with the highest level of glyphosate among all the references analyzed and also showed traces of mold toxins. A sign of how useful tests like this can also be to entice companies to do better, preventing controversial substances from ending up in their products.