The World Health Organization has labeled glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup — a “probable human carcinogen,” and the Environmental Protection Agency’s website warns that long-term exposure to glyphosate at 700 parts per billion (ppb) can cause “problems with kidneys or reproductive difficulties.” However, 700 ppb is the permitted level of glyphosate in U.S. tap water (compared to 0.1 ppb permitted in European Union tap water). The U.S. government also allows nearly 6 times more glyphosate in actual food products than European countries do.
Until now, exactly how much glyphosate residue ends up in popular U.S. foods has never been common knowledge. However, at the request of Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project, a leading food safety testing laboratory registered by the Food and Drug Administration has analyzed a number of common processed foods for glyphosate accumulation. The lab found extremely high levels of glyphosate in some of the most popular U.S. food products, including Cheerios (1,125.3 ppb), Stacy’s Pita Chips (812.53 ppb), Doritos Cool Ranch (481.27 ppb), and Back to Nature Crispy Cheddar Crackers (327.22 ppb). See more test results.
The highest glyphosate residues were found in Cheerios, a popular cereal that’s specifically marketed as “not made with genetically engineered ingredients.” The contamination is most likely the result of glyphosate being used as a desiccant (drying agent) on the cereal’s main ingredient, whole grain oats. The only way to avoid food products that have been sprayed with glyphosate at one stage or another is to opt for products labeled Certified Organic. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Environmental Research confirmed that families eating an organic diet for as little as 1 week removed more than 90 percent of the pesticides from their systems. To read more about allowable glyphosate levels and the chemical’s effects, read “Glyphosate: Unsafe on Any Plate”.