Glyphosate can be found in almost everything we eat, and a new study released by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group has confirmed that the herbicide is also in what we’re drinking. In a look at 20 popular beers and wines, the study confirmed that 19 of the 20 beverages reviewed contained glyphosate residue. The beverage that showed the highest levels of glyphosate was Sutter Home Merlot, with a concentration of 51.4 parts per billion (ppb). Bayer toxicologist William Reeves said via a spokesperson,
The reality is that regulatory authorities have strict rules when it comes to pesticide residues…The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets daily exposure limits at least 100 times below levels shown to have no negative effect in safety studies.”CBS News
He goes on to say,
Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4 ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the US Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for humans. To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.”
An Incomplete Picture
At 51.4 ppb, the Sutter Home Merlot is well below what the EPA considers to be a safe level of glyphosate.
- Sutter Home Merlot: 51.4 ppb
- Beringer Founders Estates Moscato: 42.6 ppb
- Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon: 36.3 ppb
- Inkarri Malbec, Certified Organic: 5.3 ppb
- Frey Organic Natural White: 4.8 ppb
- Tsingtao Beer: 49.7 ppb
- Coors Light: 31.1 ppb
- Miller Lite: 29.8 ppb
- Budweiser: 27.0 ppb
- Corona Extra: 25.1 ppb
- Heineken: 20.9 ppb
- Guinness Draught: 20.3 ppb
- Stella Artois: 18.7 ppb
- Ace Perry Hard Cider: 14.5 ppb
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 11.8 ppb
- New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale: 11.2 ppb
- Sam Adams New England IPA: 11.0 ppb
- Stella Artois Cidre: 9.1 ppb
- Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager: 5.7 ppb
- Peak Beer Organic IPA: N/A
That doesn’t mean it’s safe, though.
Mr. Reeves, the toxicologist for Bayer, mentions that the EPA’s limits are at least 100 times below levels examined in safety studies. Yet that agency allows much higher concentrations of glyphosate than other safety regulators. The regulations set by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) are much more severe. According to the EPA, a daily dose of 2 mg of glyphosate per kg of body weight should cause no ill effects. OEHHA’s safe daily level recommendations are 1,100 micrograms. OEHHA’s levels are nearly half of those put forth by the EPA.
California has classified glyphosate as a carcinogen since 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) was even earlier in linking the herbicide and cancer when the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released a statement labeling glyphosate “probably carcinogenic to humans.” The EPA has resisted that label for years. In fact, evidence in the recent verdict against Monsanto for 289 million dollars contained correspondence between the agro-giant and a high ranking EPA official promising to derail a glyphosate safety study.
The recent verdict against Monsanto (now Bayer) is only the first of more than 5000 lawsuits awaiting the company. Advertisements seeking participants for class-action lawsuits against Round-up are now commonplace on mainstream television. But it’s hard to believe we can come back from this without some serious change. Ninety-five percent of the drinks examined for this study had glyphosate residue. Glyphosate is showing in food, water, feminine hygiene products…the herbicide is everywhere.
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What’s Your Damage?
Finding glyphosate in beer and wine has consequences beyond how much you’re drinking. Though the herbicide is often found in organic products studies have found that people who consume greater amounts of organic food are less likely to develop cancer. On the flip side, Napa County, the heart of California wine country and an area with unusually high pesticide use, boasts the highest rates of childhood cancer. Perhaps the amount of glyphosate measured in these beverages is well below the recommended limit for consumptions, but that ignores the
- Glyphosate Found in 19 of 20 Beers and Wines Tested – EcoWatch
- Consumer watchdog finds traces of Roundup weed killer in beer and wine – CBS
- Glyphosate pesticide in beer and wine – US PIRG
- California’s Proposed Limit Vs. The Amount Allowed by EPA – EWG
- Monsanto’s EPA-Manipulating Tactics Revealed in $289 Million Case – Rolling Stone