RoundUp Weed-Killer in Honey, Instant Oatmeal: FDA says Levels are Acceptable

We have published a number of independent scientific studies over the past few years demonstrating higher than acceptable levels of Monsanto weed-killer glyphosate’s presence in the food chain; the FDA has recently announced it also found glyphosate residue in some foods tested but the FDA results are at a much lower level than those of previous studies.

Monsanto’s RoundUp Weed-Killer in Honey, Instant Oatmeal, says FDA

Food Safety News

Excerpt: Testing for glyphosate residue at a U.S. Food and Drug Administration laboratory in Atlanta has found up to 1.67 parts per million (ppm) in certain instant oatmeal cereals and up to 121 nanograms per gram (ng/g) in samples of honey.

Glyphosate is a widely used and controversial herbicide and the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup…The test results were presented by Narong Chamkasem, a research chemist with FDA’s Southeast Regional Laboratory, at a scientific workshop this past July in Florida.

Chamkasem reported finding no glyphosate residues in organic oat samples from Bob’s Red Mill, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Nature’s Path, while other results from 10 unnamed brands ranged from 0.01 ppm in “apple cinnamon instant oat meal” to 1.67 ppm in “cinnamon spice instant oat meal.”

In 19 honey samples tested, he reported finding just a trace of glyphosate in 10 of them. Results from the other nine samples tested ranged from a low of 17 ng/g in Brazilian honey up to a high of 121 ng/g in honey from Louisiana.

Maximum tolerance levels
The levels detected by the FDA testing are below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s maximum tolerance level for glyphosate in oats, which is 30 ppm….There is currently no maximum tolerance level in the U.S. for glyphosate residues in honey…

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Graphic was included in the FDA presentation of glyphosate residue testing results at a mid-July scientific workshop in Florida.

Food Safety Issues

Because of potential links with certain types of cancer and reproductive and developmental problems, there are ongoing efforts to ban or limit the use of glyphosate in this country.

In March 2015, the World Health Organization classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on “convincing evidence that these agents cause cancer in laboratory animals.”

The Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act Scientific Advisory Panel is meeting next week in Arlington, VA, to discuss the carcinogenic potential of the herbicide, and EPA is planning to issue related human health and ecological risk assessments next spring…

Monsanto’s position is that detectable glyphosate levels* in human food are too low to cause any health problems and that testing ensures its safety.

*According to a recent study, two-thirds of the total volume of glyphosate applied in the U.S. from 1974 to 2014 has been sprayed in just the past 10 years.

Deceptive Labeling Lawsuit Pending

A San Francisco woman filed a potential class-action lawsuit earlier this year against the Quaker Oats Co. alleging that the firm deceptively labels its products sold at retail as “100% Natural” when glyphosate is sprayed on the oats as a drying agent shortly before harvest.

The main plaintiff, Danielle Cooper, asked that the court order the company to issue refunds to purchasers of its products and to embark on a “corrective advertising campaign to inform the public of the true nature of Quaker’s carcinogen-contaminated oats.”

Quaker, which was bought by PepsiCo in 2001, stated that it does not add glyphosate during any part of the oat milling process, although the chemical is “commonly used by farmers across the country who apply it pre-harvest.” The company also noted that it “thoroughly cleanses” all oats it receives for processing.


How glyphosate contamination hinders organic farmers


One of the most concerning findings isn’t the level of glyphosate residue, but the fact that the agency found it residue even in products whose crops don’t receive its treatment. This demonstrates how pervasive this residue can be, even beyond the vast majority of soy and corn crops that farmers treat with Roundup today.

These findings also echo fears that organic farmers have expressed of cross-pollination contamination from glyphosate-treated crops. Per USDA regulations, organic products with the certified label cannot contain glyphosate-treated ingredients.

Farmers’ concerns are more than just speculation. A 2013 survey from Food & Water Watch and the Organic Farmers’ Agency for Relationship Marketing found that one out of three responding farmers had dealt with GMO contamination on their farm. More than half of those with contaminated crops reported their buyers rejecting their product for that reason