by Katherine Paul
Last summer, the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced that our testing of Ben & Jerry’s popular ice cream flavors for glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller) turned up positive results in 10 of 11 samples we tested.
Our critics fired back that the glyphosate levels we found were “well below” the levels that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) tells us are “safe.”
In other words, relax! A little bit of Monsanto Roundup weedkiller in your ice cream is nothing to fret over.
Now a new pilot study, soon to be published in the prestigious scientific journal Environmental Health, suggests that EPA “safe” levels aren’t safe at all—especially for kids.
The Global Glyphosate Study pilot experimental phase, the first study of its kind, suggests that exposure to glyphosate at levels the EPA wants us to believe are “safe” can in fact lead to “certain important biological parameters, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome.”
We were especially intrigued by the study’s mention of how glyphosate alters the intestinal microbiome. OCA, along with Beyond Pesticides, is involved in a lawsuit against Monsanto for falsely for misleading consumers who buy Roundup for their lawns about the product’s safety. Monsanto tried to get the lawsuit dismissed, but a federal judge recently ruled in favorof allowing the lawsuit to proceed.
This new study follows on the heels of last week’s news that when glyphosate is combined with other chemicals to create the final weedkiller formulation, the herbicide is more toxic to human cells than glyphosate alone.
Will this new evidence lead to a ban on glyphosate? Hard to tell, given what we know about possible collusion in the past between Monsanto and the EPA to keep consumers in the dark about how toxic Roundup and glyphosate are to human health. Plus we’re now dealing with an EPA that favors hiding the truth about toxic chemicals from the public, over protecting the chemical industry’s image.
Why this study is different