When the Organic Consumers Association found traces of the herbicide Roundup, also know as glyphosate, in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, little did they know that was just the tip of the iceberg…
The traces of glyphosate that were found in 10 out of 11 of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream samples did fall below the legal limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (1)
However, the regulation on how much is safe for humans is outdated, and the studies are often fiercely disputed by Monsanto and other companies that make products containing glyphosate.
The group also tested the ice cream brands 365 Everyday Value, Alden’s Organic, and Julie’s Organic, and only found traces in the 365 Everyday Value brand. These traces—while very small—are suggesting that the global use of glyphosate has found its way in trace amounts into hundreds of commonly eaten foods worldwide.
For years, glyphosate was classified as only an “irritant,” but recently, it has been upgraded to a “probable human carcinogen.” (2)
To make matters worse, glyphosate residues and by-products have been found in urine, breast milk, drinking water, rivers, streams, lakes, rain, and air.
In one study, air and rain samples were taken from Mississippi, Iowa, and Indiana, and 60 to 100 percent of the samples of both air and rain had traces of glyphosate. (3)
In another study on freshwater plankton, like chlorella, glyphosate was found to inhibit growth rates by up to 50 percent. (4)
Sadly, amphibians are more sensitive to glyphosate-based herbicides compared to other vertebrates, and their freshwater habitats often accumulate glyphosate residues. (5)
In a large review of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs), researchers concluded that:
- GBHs are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise.
- Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions.
- The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized.
- Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply.
- Human exposures to GBHs are rising.
- Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen.
- Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.
Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s!
While Ben & Jerry’s has taken massive heat for this recent story, they are just one company in a long list that produces food products with glyphosate residues, including: (1,6)
- Quaker Oats
- General Mills—Cheerios
- Nabisco Oreo cookies
- Kashi cereals
- Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips
- Kellogg’s Special K cereal
- Triscuit Crackers
Ben & Jerry’s market themselves as a healthier brand of ice cream that uses real, whole ingredients with no recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). They publicly support farmers, the environment, GMO food labeling, Fair Trade, Occupy Wall Street, and have come out strongly against oil drilling and global warming, but like all the companies listed, they are not organic.
Many health food companies have strong marketing campaigns that convince us that their products are “healthy and safe.” The only true standard for ensuring that the foods we eat are Roundup-free is to buy organic foods whenever possible.
Even then, with glyphosate in the rain water and air, we are now simply trying to limit our exposure as best as we can.
Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s for giving us all another wake-up call to demand organic.
>> Learn more about how to avoid glyphosate in wheat in my book, Eat Wheat.
>> Read more LifeSpa articles about the dangers of glyphosate.
Author: Dr. John Douillard
Editor: Leah Sugerman
Copy Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Social Editor: Nicole Cameron