27 Jun Weedkiller Contaminates Food Marketed to Children and Families as Healthy
What is Roundup?
Roundup is the brand name given to glyphosate, a toxic weed killer, produced by Monsanto first sold commercially in 1974. It works by blocking the enzymes that regulate plant growth. Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide (1) in the United States and potentially world. It is used by many farmers to kill weeds; you may have even used it in your own garden or backyard. Many companies like General Mills, Quaker, and Kellogg’s use Roundup on their farms. Besides its use as a weedkiller, it has also been used as a drying agent (2) that is sprayed on oats before harvest. This prematurely kills the crop so that it can be harvested sooner increasing the chances of it ending up in our foods.
Why is this a problem?
Glyphosate has been found to be highly carcinogenic and this cancerous chemical is now getting into the foods you love. Glyphosate has been classified by the California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment as a known carcinogen (3) as of 2017. There is an alarming correlation between cancer and glyphosate- being found to cause non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and lung cancer in people. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide, killing most plants. However, Monsanto even went as far as to genetically modify crop seeds to tolerate glyphosate. This way farmers can only use glyphosate to kill any unwanted weeds. This doesn’t stop these “Roundup Ready” (4) crops from absorbing the chemical which then ends up in your body.
As of 2018 Bayer, acquired Monsanto for $63 billion and along with it lawsuits by more than 13,400 plaintiffs (5) saying their products caused cancer. Bayer denies the link to cancer but has still had to pay billions in damages so far.
Prevalence in our foods
There are over 750 products (6) for sale in the US contain glyphosate in either solid or liquid form. With the amount of pesticide used, almost everyone has been exposed (7) to it whether it be in our water, food, or dust. It is most commonly used on genetically modified corn and soybeans
In a study (2)on General Mills products, the herbicide, produced by Bayer- Monsanto was detected in all but four of the 21 tested oat- based cereal and snack products significantly above the levels considered acceptable by the Environmental Working Group.
How can we avoid it?
The use of glyphosate is so abundant making it challenging to confirm whether a product has come into contact with it either directly or indirectly. Since, Glyphosate is absorbed into the food it cannot be washed off or eliminated through cooking or baking. Therefore, it is important to take these steps in order to lessen your chance of exposure.
- Read food labels- glyphosate will be listed as an active ingredient
- Avoid processed foods- Use this list (8)for 50 known products that contain glyphosate
- Look for the USDA Organic Label or 100% Organic - this certificate means that producers cannot spray any chemical pesticides on their foods (this doesn’t also guarantee it is free from contamination since the use of glyphosate is so common it can contaminate even when not directly sprayed)
- Look for the Non-GMO Label- this doesn’t necessarily mean its free of pesticides but at least it isn’t genetically modified; major GMO foods include soy, corn, and canola
- Eat foods rich in sulfur- like eggs, organic cheese, onions, and garlic. Sulfur is an important part of your body’s detoxification process, removing any harmful toxins from the body.
- Consume Probiotics- glyphosate is an antibiotic, meaning it kills the good bacteria in your body as well. You can opt for a supplement or get it fermented foods like apple cider vinegar, kombucha, and yogurt
Sign the petition to get General Mills to get glyphosate out of their products!
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