Monsanto’s Weedkiller Roundup Found In A Variety Of Foods, Including Organic

If we concentrate efforts on promoting a parallel system of agriculture, organic, then activism is taken away from fixing the 99% of agriculture that most people depend upon. Eventually, chemicals used on the 99% of crops will migrate to organic crops (to which these articles attest), let alone being found at unsafe levels in conventional crops, and the foods made from them:

Weedkiller Found In Granola And Crackers, Internal FDA Emails Show, The Guardian, 30 April 2018
The FDA has been testing food samples for traces of glyphosate for two years, but the agency has not yet released any official results

US government scientists have detected a weedkiller linked to cancer in an array of commonly consumed foods, emails obtained through a freedom of information request show.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been testing food samples for residues of glyphosate, the active ingredient in hundreds of widely used herbicide products, for two years, but has not yet released any official results.

But the internal documents obtained by the Guardian show the FDA has had trouble finding any food that does not carry traces of the pesticide.

“I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,” FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote to colleagues in an email last year regarding glyphosate.

The weedkiller is sprayed directly over some crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and oats. Many farmers also use it on fields before the growing season, including spinach growers and almond producers.

FDA chemist Narong Chamkasem found “over-the-tolerance” levels of glyphosate in corn, detected at 6.5 parts per million, an FDA email states. The legal limit is 5.0 ppm. An illegal level would normally be reported to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), but an FDA supervisor wrote to an EPA official that the corn was not considered an “official sample”. … In 2016 Chamkasem found glyphosate in numerous samples of honey. Chamkasem also found glyphosate in oatmeal products. The FDA temporarily suspended testing after those findings, and Chamkasem’s lab was “reassigned to other programs”, the FDA documents show.

The US Department of Agriculture was to start its own testing of foods for glyphosate residues in 2017 but dropped the plan.

Weedkiller Found In Wide Range Of Breakfast Foods Aimed At Children, The Guardian, 16 August 2018
Cancer-linked herbicide, sold as Roundup by Monsanto, present in 45 products including granola, snack bars and Cheerios

Tests revealed glyphosate, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller brand Roundup, present in all but two of the 45 oat-derived products.

Nearly three in four of the products exceeded what the EWG classes safe for children to consume. Products with some of the highest levels of glyphosate include granola, oats and snack bars made by leading industry names Quaker, Kellogg’s and General Mills, which makes Cheerios.

This is on the heels of a windfall loss by Monsanto in court last week:

The findings follow a landmark decision in a San Francisco court last week to order that Monsanto pay $289m in damages to Dewayne Johnson, a 46-year-old former groundskeeper. A jury deemed that Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller caused Johnson’s cancer and that it had failed to warn him about the health risks of exposure.

And:

In the tests, glyphosate was also found at detectable concentrations in five of 16 organic oat food samples.

Yesterday, Senater Schumer told the FDA to publish their report. “Get going,” he said:

Schumer calls on FDA to publish its report on weed-killing chemical found in breakfast foods, New York Daily News, 19 August 2018

My prediction? The report will show glyphosate in a lot of foods. But before the report is released, the EPA will update their safety levels so the FDA will be able to say, “not a problem.”

But there are problems:

1. Glyphosate alone is not as harmful (yet still “probably carcinogenic to humans“) as the whole Roundup formulation which adds ingredients to allow glyphosate to more easily enter cells. But most tests are being done on the single ingredient, glyphosate.

2. Roundup is an endocrine disruptor at levels below that thought to cause cancer:
Glyphosate-Based Herbicides Are Toxic And Endocrine Disruptors In Human Cell Lines, Toxicology, 2009

3. Researchers are looking at individual exposures. We need to look at multiple exposures because we don’t just eat one granola bar with glyphosate, we eat wheat, soy, corn, oats, spinach, almonds, honey, and other tainted foods all day long. They also need to look at chronic, low-level exposures. We’re eating this stuff all day, every day. (Endocrine disruptors are linked to obesity and diabetes.)

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