When the Organic Consumers Association found traces of the herbicide RoundUp, aka glyphosate, in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, little did they know that was just the tip of the iceberg…
Most people think of Ben & Jerry’s as a healthy brand of ice cream but, upon closer inspection, they are not much different than Kellogg’s, General Mills, Nabisco and others!
They happen to be experts in “Green-Washing,” a technique companies use to look green and crunchy, while not being much healthier than other national brands.
The traces of glyphosate that were found in 10 out of 11 of the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream samples did fall below the legal limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). (1) However, the regulation on how much is safe for humans is considered too high by many experts, and the studies are often fiercely disputed by Monsanto and other companies that make products containing glyphosate.
The group also tested the ice cream brands 365 Everyday Value, Alden’s Organic and Julie’s Organic, and only found traces in the 365 brand. These traces, while very small, are suggesting that the global use of glyphosate has found its way into hundreds of commonly eaten foods worldwide.
New Research On Glyphosate
For years, glyphosate was classified as only an “irritant,” but recently, it has been upgraded to a “probable human carcinogen.” (2)
To make matters worse, glyphosate residues and by-products have been found in urine, breast milk, drinking water, rivers, streams, lakes, rain and air.
In one study, air and rain samples were taken from Mississippi, Iowa and Indiana, and 60-100% of the samples of both air and rain had traces of glyphosate. (3)
In another study on freshwater plankton, like chlorella, high concentrations of glyphosate were found to inhibit growth rates by up to 50%. (4)
Sadly, amphibians are more sensitive to glyphosate-based herbicides compared to other vertebrates due to their reliance on both aquatic and terrestrial environments, and their freshwater habitats often accumulate glyphosate residues. (5)
In a recently published statement of concern about glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs), industry experts unanimously agreed that: (7)
- GBHs are the most heavily applied herbicide in the world and usage continues to rise.
- Worldwide, GBHs often contaminate drinking water sources, precipitation, and air, especially in agricultural regions.
- The half-life of glyphosate in water and soil is longer than previously recognized.
- Glyphosate and its metabolites are widely present in the global soybean supply.
- Human exposures to GBHs are rising.
- Glyphosate is now authoritatively classified as a probable human carcinogen.
- Regulatory estimates of tolerable daily intakes for glyphosate in the United States and European Union are based on outdated science.
Thank You, Ben & Jerry’s!
While Ben & Jerry’s has taken massive heat for this recent story, they are just one company in a long list that produces food products with glyphosate residues, including: (1,6)
- Quaker Oats
- General Mills – Cheerios
- Nabisco Oreo cookies
- Kashi cereals
- Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips
- Kellogg’s Special K cereal
- Triscuit Crackers
Be Aware of Green-Washing!
Ben & Jerry’s market themselves as a healthier brand of ice cream that uses real, whole ingredients with no Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH). They publicly support farmers, the environment and GMO food labeling, but they do not require the cows to be fed with non-GMO feed. They support Fair Trade, Occupy Wall Street and have come out strongly against oil drilling and global warming, but like all of the companies listed above, they are NOT ORGANIC and are NOT GMO-free.
Many health food companies use strong green-washing marketing campaigns to convince us that their products are “healthy and safe.” The only true standard for ensuring that the foods we eat are RoundUp-free is to buy organic foods whenever possible.
Even then, with glyphosate in the rain water and air, we are now simply trying to limit our exposure the best we can.
Thank you, Ben & Jerry’s for giving us all another wake-up call to DEMAND ORGANIC.
>>> Learn more about how to avoid glyphosate in wheat in my book, Eat Wheat.