When growing food crops, any farmer wants to harvest as much as possible and minimize what falls prey to insects and weeds. After all, there is a cost associated with loss of viable produce. On the flip side, there can also be a very grave cost to how loss is prevented. The most popular herbicide on Earth is Roundup, manufactured by Monsanto. Its active ingredient is glyphosate. It has been sprayed anywhere from sidewalk cracks and around flower beds to food crops. Glyphosate in food is a real health concern.
The herbicide has been the subject of controversy for years. Once it became known that it causes serious health problems, including endocrine disruption, allergies, asthma, autism spectrum disorders, gastrointestinal disorders, rhinitis, obesity, leukemia, lymphoma, and other forms of cancer.
Keep in mind that these are just a few of the crimes against humanity Monsanto has tried to cover up.
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says Roundup and Roundup-ready plants aren’t harmful to humans based on Monsanto’s own research. The surfactant in Roundup is POEA (polyoxyethyleneamine). What the EPA doesn’t consider is that when you put these two chemicals together, POEA expands the cells of the organism with which glyphosate comes into contact, increasing Roundup’s toxicity by 450 times the regular strength of glyphosate alone. In documented studies conducted by Monsanto, glyphosate was tested on its own.
- Before glyphosate was brought to market (as with any new industrial chemical), it had to be tested for safety. Those early studies were recently leaked—they have been classified by the U.S. government as “trade secrets”. Full disclosure of the results proves that Monsanto knew 35 years ago that glyphosate causes cancer.
- As if spraying Roundup on food crops isn’t enough, genetically modified seeds have been developed to tolerate Roundup so that they can be used together, doubling the effectiveness. These plants have the chemicals in their very cells—you can’t wash them off.
- To Monsanto’s dismay, in 2015, the World Health Organization changed its position on glyphosate, now classifying it as a “probable carcinogen”.
- There are very intimate ties between Monsanto and powerful, influential people in government, the corporate world, and abroad.
- And the newest secret: “The first ever independent, FDA [U.S. Food and Drug Administration]-registered laboratory food testing results for glyphosate residues in iconic American food brands finds alarming levels of glyphosate contamination and reveal the inadequacy of current food safety regulations relating to allowable pesticide residues.” (1)
In light of the controversy and the mounting evidence of glyphosate’s devastating effects on human health and the environment, Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project requested an independent testing and analysis.
Samples of very popular brand-name products were submitted to Anresco Laboratories for testing. The official report is worth reading—click here for the PDF.
Glyphosate In Foods
Early in 2016, the FDA announced it would begin testing for glyphosate residue in commercially sold food but has suspended its plan.
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In May of 2013, the allowable “safe” levels of glyphosate for use as a topically applied herbicide on oil seed crops (soy, corn, canola, flax) was increased by the EPA, doubled from 20 parts per million (ppm) to 40ppm. The limit on food crops was raised from 200ppm to 6,000ppm.
A study on mice published in 1983 found that concentrations of glyphosate between 1,000ppm and 5,000ppm daily over an 18-month period caused cancerous tumors. The number of mice with tumors increased in proportion to the dosage (2). Plus, scientists in Thailand found glyphosate to promote proliferation of human breast cancer cells in concentrations as minute as .000000169ppm (3).
There are individual contamination limits set for some produce (but not all); the EPA’s list of allowable residual glyphosate levels on specific produce can be found here. For comparison, Health Canada’s list is here.
Keep in mind that any processed food contains several—if not, many—ingredients; the total is the sum of its parts.
Foods To Look Out For
Below are infographics to highlight the astonishing results of the laboratory tests of residual glyphosate levels in popular processed foods. Glyphosate levels in the report are in parts per billion. to compare these results to government safety limits mentioned above, you may convert to ppm by dividing by 1,000.
You’ll note that some of the brands in the list are falsely labeled “organic”, which isn’t true if they contain any glyphosate. Worse yet, some “health” brands sold in natural health food stores have actually sold out to large GMO companies, explaining this possible contamination.
Annie’s with the cute little bunny is owned by General Mills while Kashi is owned by Kellogg. What’s more, Whole Foods’ 365 line of products has received criticism in the past for containing questionable ingredients.
Makes sense now, doesn’t it?
Another item to note: the “Non-GMO Project Verified” certification label with the butterfly means that the product does not contain genetically modified ingredients. However, it does not certify that the product doesn’t contain glyphosate or any other synthetic pesticide (4).
In addition, glyphosate residue has been found in significant volumes in the following:
“Based on this new information, FOOD DEMOCRACY NOW! is calling for a federal investigation into the likely harmful effects of glyphosate on human health and the environment and is also seeking an investigation into the relationships between the regulators and the regulated industries, which has resulted in the public being exposed to levels of glyphosate which scientific studies show can be damaging to human health,” said the official report mentioned above.
How will Monsanto and the U.S. government respond to this published report and call to action? If enough people start asking questions and spending their money elsewhere, they may not be able to ignore the serious problem of poisonous glyphosate in our food.