Santa Clara, CA: The weed killer glyphosate is at the center of potential concern regarding the safety of a variety of American foods including cookies, crackers and popular cold cereals breakfast cereals such as Cheerios.
Independent testing done by Food Democracy and its Detox Project revealed glyphosate residue was present in amounts higher than those considered safe, or what is known as the “maximum residue limit (MRL)”, established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The testing was done by San Francisco-based Anresco lab, which uses liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), a method considered to be the most reliable for analyzing glyphosate residues by regulators and the scientific community.
The tests evaluated 29 foods commonly found in grocery stores across the U.S. The findings showed glyphosate residues in General Mills’ Cheerios at 1,125.3 parts per billion (ppb), in Kashi soft-baked oatmeal dark chocolate cookies at 275.57 ppb, and in Ritz Crackers at 270.24 ppb. Different levels were found in Kellogg’s Special K cereal, Triscuit Crackers and several other products, the Huffington Post reported.
U.S. regulators have set an acceptable daily intake (ADI) for glyphosate at 1.75 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day (mg/kg/bw/day) much higher than what other countries consider safe. For example, the European Union has set its limit at 0.3. Reportedly, the EPA is supposed to set an ADI from all food and water sources that is at least 100 times lower than levels that have been demonstrated to cause no effect in animal testing.
The timing of the report coincides with research on the adverse health effects of glyphosate, research which shows that the weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate, can cause liver and kidney damage in rats at only 0.05 ppb. Studies have also shown that levels as low as 10 ppb can have toxic effects on the livers of fish.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organization, recently classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.
Glyphosate is the world’s most widely weed killer and the key ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp. Its use in food production is widespread. For example, glyphosate is sprayed directly on several genetically modified crops including corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and canola, crops that have been deliberately engineered to tolerate glyphosate. Further, the chemical is also sprayed directly onto many types of conventional crops ahead of harvest, including wheat, oats and barley. According to the EPA, glyphosate is used in some way in the production of not less than 70 food crops, including a variety of nuts, vegetables and fruits. The Huffington Post reports that glyphosate is even used in spinach production.