Bagels, eggs, or oatmeal with a side of toxic herbicide? The latest findings from the Alliance for Natural Health-USA’s recent food safety tests are enough to make you want to lose your breakfast: many of the foods we commonly nosh on for our morning meal contain traces of glyphosate, an herbicide developed by Monsanto. Glyphosate just happens to be the primary ingredient in Roundup and was listed last year by the World Health Organization as a substance that is “probably” cancer causing. It has been linked to increases in the levels of a variety of cancers (including breast, liver, and kidney, just to name a few), is considered an endocrine disruptor, and is ubiquitous enough to have been found in breast milk despite the fact that its proponents argue that the substance won’t accumulate in the body. Read on for the breakfast items you should be avoiding and just how worrisome this news is (spoiler: VERY).
Image © Evan Amos via Wikimedia Commons
ANH-USA’s testing revealed that 11 out of 24 foods sampled contained glyphosate, including bagels, eggs, oatmeal, potatoes, coffee creamer, and non-GMO soy creamer. The fact that some of these foods tested positive for glyphosate isn’t surprising. Potatoes, for example, are often heavily sprayed with herbicides while they are being farmed, and glyphosate is also commonly used on wheat crops. More surprising is that even organic eggs and dairy tested positive for this herbicide — and organic bagels and breads as well as eggs labeled as “organic, cage-free, and antibiotic-free” actually contained some of the highest detected levels of glyphosate. Since organic eggs are not directly exposed to glyphosate (or at least we haven’t heard of anyone spraying organic eggs yet), the chemical is actually accumulating in the animals’ bodies through foods contaminated with the toxin and then being passed on through its products… where presumably it will accumulate in our bodies. Several of the items that tested positive were found to have glyphosate levels below what governing bodies in the U.S. deemed as the “allowable daily intake.” But I think we can all agree that there shouldn’t be any daily intake of glyphosate. And it bears mentioning that the allowable rates in this country are significantly higher than those in the European Union.
As gross and alarming as this information is, ANH-USA’s tests didn’t even check the levels of glyphosate analogs, some of which are used by other companies, such as Dupont, and which are also believed to share glyphosate’s harmful traits. The FDA and the EPA haven’t issued a response to these findings, and there are suspicious and large gray areas in herbicide research where these organizations have chosen not to study or regulate or where they are just beginning to study. Meanwhile, Monsanto recorded about $5 billion dollars in glyphosate herbicide-related revenues last year. That news is definitely enough to make you lose your appetite.