Frankenfood makers routinely test glyphosate, the primary ingredient in RoundUp, as a single agent and declare it safe. But that is deceptive because glyphosate is always combined with dangerous adjuvants. Glyphosate-based herbicides contain many other chemicals, which when mixed together are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate on its own.
By James Spounias
If the alliance between government and powerful business interests isn’t enough to give you an ulcer, try to wrap your head around two stories, published within days of each other, concerning the testing of glyphosate. This controversial herbicide is used in combination with adjuvants in finished products, notably RoundUp, made by agrichemical giant Monsanto.
Adjuvants are ingredients in a solution that usually facilitate or modify the action of the principal ingredient in the mixture.
The first story came out Nov. 11, stating that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it has suspended testing of glyphosate in foods, blaming differing test methods and laboratories.
The agency stated it may revisit testing in the future.
The second article, published two days later, on Nov. 13, reveals high levels of glyphosate have been discovered in popular foods, according to a report published by grassroots advocacy organization Food Democracy Now and the Detox Project, which commissioned an FDA-registered lab to conduct testing.
You read that correctly: The government cannot test glyphosate, but public interest groups can test—using the government’s labs.
If you believe the FDA is actually testing foods for high levels of pesticides and herbicides in a meaningful way, think again.
Even the Government Accountability Office (GAO) bluntly stated the FDA isn’t testing nearly enough in size and scope to matter, and that glyphosates weren’t even tested in 2014. The agency reported, “FDA tested less than one-tenth of 1% of imported shipments.”
The GAO also chided the FDA for not disclosing that it does not “test for several commonly used pesticides with an EPA established tolerance (the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that is allowed to remain on or in a food)—including glyphosate, the most used agricultural pesticide.”
The GAO’s criticism makes it clear that the dangers of pesticides and herbicides aren’t taken seriously by federal agencies. This is not because of omission or negligence.
The FDA only started testing for glyphosates in February 2016, after being criticized for not doing so—following the release of a damning report on glyphosate dangers by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which re-classified glyphosate as a “probable human carcinogen” in March 2015.
The Obama Administration, falsely portrayed by the so-called rightwing as anti-business egghead environmentalists driving American corporations out of the U.S., is literally in bed with Big Agriculture on this issue.
The fact that the FDA announced it will no longer test for glyphosate just two days after Donald Trump was declared president-elect speaks to the fact that Big Agriculture’s power is fairly certain it will be business as usual under the new administration.
This writer will not hold his breath that foods will be tested properly under a Trump presidency any more than they were under Obama, George W. Bush, Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter.
The second article headline—that shockingly high levels of glyphosate were found in commonly eaten foods—resulted from a substantial testing project done by Food Democracy Now.
Using sophisticated “gold standard” test methods at an FDA-registered laboratory, Food Democracy Now learned that, so far, alarming levels of glyphosate were found at levels that present significant risks according to the latest independent peer-reviewed science on glyphosate in General Mills’ Cheerios and Honey Nut Cheerios, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, Raisin Bran and Frosted Flakes, PepsiCo’s Doritos Cool Ranch,
Ritz Crackers, Nabisco’s Oreos, and Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips, as well as many other popular products.
“Frankly, such a high level of glyphosate contamination found in Cheerios, Doritos, Oreos and Stacy’s Pita Chips is alarming and should be a wake-up call for any parent trying to feed their children safe, healthy and non-toxic food,” said Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now.
How much glyphosate is “safe” for human consumption isn’t an easy question to answer, because credible, independent, peer-reviewed scientific evidence states that the levels of harm begin at the miniscule 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) level, while glyphosate industry-sponsored research dismisses this low number.
Food Democracy Now’s test revealed a whopping 1.125 ppb in the popular breakfast cereal Cheerios.
This latest evidence calls for a much lower allowable daily intake (ADI) to be set at 0.025 milligrams per kilogram bodyweight per day or “12 times lower than the ADI” currently set in Europe and 70 times lower than the level currently allowed by the EPA in the U.S.
“These results show that both the U.S. regulators and food companies have let down consumers in America. Independent science shows that glyphosate may be a hormone hacker at these real-life exposure levels found in the food products,” said Henry Rowlands, director of the Detox Project, an international organization dedicated to testing our food and our bodies for toxic hormone-hacking chemicals. “The safe level of glyphosate ingestion is simply unknown despite what the EPA and Monsanto would have everyone believe.”
There’s another issue not yet addressed by the government or Food Democracy Now: The adjuvants used in conjunction with glyphosate are not being tested. Combining these chemicals into a toxic cocktail could make the witch’s brew even more dangerous than glyphosate alone.
This is not to criticize Food Democracy Now, which has taken on the Herculean task of educating the public on the dangers of glyphosate and clearly faces roadblocks and financial impediments to test every chemical used in finished products. Public health organizations should not have to do the job of federal agencies, paid with taxpayer dollars to do so.
The adjuvants, however, make glyphosate much more dangerous to health and are conveniently ignored by the establishment, which relies on “corporate studies” that only look at glyphosate as a sole ingredient.
In the real world, the corporate-sponsored test-tube assurances of isolated glyphosate safety are bunk, because all commercial products using glyphosate have additives. These are often dangerous enough on their own, but combined with glyphosate they can be much worse.
“GMwatch.org” quoted Dr. Robin Mesnage of the Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics at Kings College in London in 2015 who offered evidence for the statement that RoundUp is 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone.
Mesnage stated: “Glyphosate is everywhere throughout our food chain—in our food and water. The lack of data on toxicity of glyphosate is not proof of safety and these herbicides cannot be considered safe without proper testing.
We know RoundUp, the commercial name of glyphosate-based herbicides, contains many other chemicals, which when mixed together are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate on its own.”
If we look at the “big picture” of pollutants, such as glyphosate and other herbicides, fluoridated water, hydrogenated vegetable oils, high-fructose corn syrup, and vaccines, to name a few, we get the idea that we are indeed left victim to assaults protected by the powers that be and that attempts to do the right thing are suppressed by this same cabal.
People take to the streets over which selected puppet gets to rule, but it is time that all, no matter color, creed, religion or political persuasion, join together to demand clean food, water, and air and restoration from damage done by the powers that be.
James Spounias is the president of Carotec Inc., originally founded by renowned radio show host and alternative health expert Tom Valentine.