Concerns about glyphosate

This article was originally published in June 2016

Reports about the pesticide glyphosate being found in many foods have led a fair number of PCC members and shoppers to ask how they can avoid it. After all, glyphosate is detected throughout the food chain — in water, plants, animals and people, even some organic foods. What’s a consumer to do?

The fact is, glyphosate-based weed killers are the most common agricultural chemicals worldwide. Use soared with the advent of “weed-and-feed” lawn products and genetically engineered crops.

The good news is that buying organic food is a good way to keep your exposure low. Glyphosate is prohibited in organic farming.

The Alliance for Natural Health and the Detox Project report findings of glyphosate in wheat bread, oats, bagels, soy sauce, honey, coffee creamer, infant formula, mother’s milk, beef, soybeans, tap water, and even some organic eggs, bread and wine. EcoWatch, however, says the levels in non-organic California wine were 28 times higher than in organic wine. Traces in organics may come from migration through the water table.

Little is known about the health effects at levels found in U.S. food or water. The World Health Organization declared glyphosate a “probable carcinogen” in 2015. Analyses also found glyphosate products kill human cells; damage DNA and chromosomes; increase the risk of miscarriage, birth defects and premature birth; and double the risk of lymphoma.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says it will start testing for health effects this year in soybeans, corn, milk and eggs. PCC wishes the FDA would test sugar from GE sugar beets, too, since the Environmental Protection Agency (upon petition by Monsanto) raised the allowance for residues 5,000 percent.

Supporting organic farming is one of the most powerful choices for change. Also, speak up! Many cities in many states have restricted or banned glyphosate. Why not here where PCC members can be the change makers? Open Glyphosate restrictions around the world and scroll down to see restrictions and bans across North America.

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