These potentially carcinogenic preservatives are not only in breakfast cereals, but nearly all processed foods in the United States. They are used because food companies and consumers want that 6 month old box of “Special K” to taste fresh no matter how long its been in the pantry. Several countries in Europe and Japan all banned BHA and BHT because of the risks they pose. In California, BHA is certified as carcinogenic, or cancer causing. That should be reason enough to check the label and, more importantly, to not feed it to your kids.
Examples of BHA & BHT found in a normal-looking food labels. You’d be surprised what you’ll find just reading the labels on your foods.