Independent food safety testing done by Food Democracy found extremely high levels of the herbicide glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — in America’s most popular food products.
Roundup is the most heavily used chemical weedkiller in food and agricultural production in human history, as a result of the widespread adoption of genetically engineered crops now grown on more than 175 million acres in the U.S. and more than 440 million acres around the globe.
Roundup is used on crops, lawns, home gardens, parks, roadsides and forests. So far 38 actions have been filed against Monsanto in Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, Case 3:16-md-02741-VC.
These lawsuits allege that Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of several or more years.
Plaintiffs also allege that the use of glyphosate with other ingredients, in particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Also read Court Appoints Leadership In Roundup Cancer MDL.
Harm to human health
New scientific evidence shows that probable harm to human health could begin at ultra-low levels of glyphosate e.g. 0.1 parts per billions (ppb). Popular foods tested for glyphosate measured between 289.47 ppb and at levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb.
The testing and analysis were performed by Anresco Laboratories, San Francisco, an FDA-registered laboratory that has performed expert food safety testing since 1943. The laboratory found that well-known products tested for glyphosate, Original Cheerios, for example, measured levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb. Other high levels of glyphosate were found in familiar products such as Oreos, Doritos, and Ritz Crackers, among 29 foods tested.
Currently, U.S. regulators allow a very high level of daily glyphosate residue in America’s food. The acceptable daily intake (ADI) limit is set at 1.75 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day (written 1.75 mg/kg bw/day) in the U.S., versus a more cautious 0.3 mg/kg bw/day in the European Union. Tolerances have been set based on corporate-sponsored studies and industry influence on the regulatory process.
New research shows that Roundup causes liver and kidney damage in rats as reflected in changes in the functions of 4,000 genes at only 0.05 parts per billion (ppb) glyphosate equivalent indicating damage. Credible independent, peer-reviewed scientific evidence now shows that the levels of harm to human health could begin at the ultra-low levels of 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate.
“It’s important for individuals and parents to understand that glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing and is not broken down by cooking or baking. Glyphosate residues can remain stable in food for a year or more, even if the foods are frozen or processed,” the report says.
Lobbying Backlash from Monsanto
In March 2015, leading cancer experts from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen.” IARC reached its decision based on the research of 17 top cancer experts from 11 countries, who met to assess the carcinogenicity of 5 pesticides. The IARC review of glyphosate has led to the European Parliament calling for a complete ban on non-commercial public use of glyphosate and serious restrictions on agricultural use.
Monsanto’s furious response includes:
- Working with CropLife America to drive efforts to cut off U.S. funding for the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)
- The EPA had planned to hold four days of public meetings – over industry objections– to examine scientific research on glyphosate. But the industry, which deemed the meetings “unnecessary” and “inappropriate,” successfully derailed those Oct. 18-21 public meetings by challenging certain scientists appointed by EPA to an advisory panel.