Herbicide, It’s What’s for Breakfast: Glyphosate in Bagels, Organic Eggs, Oatmeal
Turtle Island residents woke up this week to news that our cereal, eggs and bagels are infused with a potentially cancer-causing compound from the Monsanto weed killer trade-named Roundup.
A whopping 10 out of 24 breakfast food items tested positive for the compound, Huffington Post reported. The chemical culprit is glyphosate, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has linked to cancer.
“We decided to do this testing to see just how ubiquitous this toxin has become in our environment,” said Gretchen DuBeau, executive and legal director of the Alliance for Natural Health-USA, which conducted the analysis by independent lab, to the environmental news site EcoWatch. “We expected that trace amounts would show up in foods containing large amounts of corn and soy. However, we were unprepared for just how invasive this poison has been to our entire food chain.”
Just how invasive extended to organic eggs, which contained more glyphosate than any of the other foods, the Alliance for Natural Health reported. The compound was also found in oatmeal, bagels, bread, and wheat cereal—items from crops that are not sprayed with the herbicide until briefly just before harvest, as a dessicant.
“We were surprised to see foods that tested highest for glyphosate were from non-Roundup Ready crops—and these crops are presumably sprayed less heavily with Roundup than the crops that are designed to tolerate the herbicide,” the group said in a statement. “Especially worrisome are the levels of glyphosate found in some organic eggs and dairy creamers, animal products which are not sprayed directly with glyphosate. This indicates that the chemical is entering the food chain and building up in the tissues of animals—likely also the case for humans.”
The group tested flour, cornflakes, instant oatmeal, bagels, yogurt, bread, frozen hash browns, potatoes, cream of wheat, eggs, non-dairy creamers and dairy-based coffee creamers, according to its report.
"The major finding from this analysis is that glyphosate is showing up in food products where it’s not intended to be, supporting claims made by many critics that glyphosate is far more ubiquitous in our food system than the public is made to believe," the report stated.
Such pervasiveness is a stark, and dark, reminder of the interconnectedness of everything on Mother Earth. Moreover it harks back to 2008, when the defunct-since-the-1970s pesticide DDT was found in Adelie penguins in the Antarctic, as Reuters reported at the time. Though the DDT stored in their fatty tissues was not enough to harm the birds, it did cause concern because of its origin in melting glaciers, study author Heidi Geisz of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science told the Antarctic Sun.
When it comes to glyphosate in our breakfast, the Alliance said that while the levels of residue were lower than what the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency considers harmful, it actually is six times higher than the European Union standard. The levels detected in foods—higher than 75 parts per billion in 10 out of 24 foods—“suggests that Americans are consuming glyphosate in common foods on a daily basis,” the Alliance said.
“The true safety of this chemical, just last year identified as a probably carcinogen by the WHO, is unknown,” the group said. “Current EPA standards have not been rigorously tested for all foods and all age groups. Nor have the effects of other ingredients in glyphosate formulations been evaluated. Evidence linking glyphosate with the increased incidence of a host of cancers is reason for immediate reevaluation by the EPA and FDA.”
You need to be logged in in order to post comments
Please use the log in option at the bottom of this page