The Detox Project is a research organization bringing awareness to the public by testing for man-made chemicals in our bodies and in our food. The project gives consumers an accurate report on the levels of glyphosate in their urine.
Through this unique public testing project carried out by a laboratory at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), glyphosate was discovered in 93% of urine samples during the early phase of the testing in 2015. The urine and water testing was organized by The Detox Project and commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association.
The project has provided more urine samples for testing than any other glyphosate bio-monitoring urine study ever in America. It was supported by members of the public, who themselves paid for their urine and water samples to be analyzed for glyphosate residues by the UCSF lab.
The data released in a presentation by the UCSF lab only covers the first 131 people tested. Further data from this public bio-monitoring study, which is now completed, will be released later in 2016.
Later this year, The Detox Project will be working alongside a new, larger lab to enable the public to once again test their urine for glyphosate residues. The Detox Project is also researching whether or not an organic diet has an effect on the level of man-made chemicals in our bodies. They’re not just testing for glyphosates either, they are also testing for 150+ man-made chemicals.
Glyphosate was found in 93% of the 131 urine samples tested at an average level of 3.096 parts per billion (PPB). Children had the highest levels with an average of 3.586 PPB.
The regions with the highest levels were the West and the Midwest with an average of 3.053 PPB and 3.050 PPB respectively.
Glyphosate residues were not observed in any tap water samples during the early phase of the project, most likely due to phosphorus removal during water treatment.
Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl)glycine ) is directly analyzed using liquid chromatography- tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Water and urine samples are prepared for analysis by solid phase extraction using an ion exchange column. Extracted samples are injected to the LC-MS/MS and the analyte is separated using an Obelisc N column (SIELC Technologies, Prospect Heights, IL) through isocratic elution. Ionization of glyphosate is achieved using an electrospray ionization source operated in negative polarity. The analyte is detected by multiple reaction monitoring using a 13C-labelled glyphosate as the internal standard. Quantification of the analyte is done by isotope dilution method using an eight-point calibration curve.
The assay has a limit of quantification of 0.5 ng/mL. The intra- and inter-day precision observed are 6-15% in concentrations that range 0.5-80 ng/mL. Recoveries for glyphosate range 70-80% at concentrations within the assay’s linear dynamic range.
Glyphosate and Health Concerns
Glyphosate-containing herbicides are sold under trademarks including Monsanto’s “Roundup”. Glyphosate was labeled a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization’s cancer agency IARC in 2015. The European Union is currently putting restrictions on the use of glyphosate due to health concerns.
Glyphosate has never been studied at the level of exposure that we in the U.S. are currently being subjected to (under 3 mg/kg body weight/day). Industry-funded science many years ago suggested that lower exposure is likely safe, but that more exposure could prove to be dangerous. Modern independent science has discovered that many toxic chemicals can have major effects on our endocrine system, sometimes at very low doses. Interestingly enough, due to the nature of endocrine disrupters, there’s often a “sweet spot”, where less or more exposure would be more damaging to health. These chemicals are known as hormone disruptors, or endocrine disruptors.
For more on the endocrine system check out Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones.
A study from March 2015 stated that the health cost to the European Union of only a few of these endocrine disrupting chemicals is over EUR 150 Billion per year. The same report also said that lower IQs, adult obesity, and potentially 5% or more of autism cases may be linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors like glyphosate.
“With increasing evidence from laboratory studies showing that glyphosate-based herbicides can result in a wide range of chronic illnesses through multiple mechanisms, it has become imperative to ascertain the levels of glyphosate in food and in as large a section of the human population as possible. Thus, the information gathered by the glyphosate public testing service being offered by The Detox Project is most timely and will provide invaluable information for the consumer and scientists like myself evaluating the toxicity of real world levels of exposure to this most widely used pesticide.”
These results show that both the U.S. regulators 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. The safe level of glyphosate ingestion is simply unknown despite what the EPA and Monsanto would have everyone believe.” – Henry Rowlands, Director, The Detox Project
If consumers had any doubt about the extent to which they are being poisoned by Monsanto’s Roundup, these tests results should put those doubts to rest,” – Ronnie Cummins, International Director of Organic Consumers Association
It’s interesting to note that the testing is on a volunteer bases, and some speculate that people getting tested are more likely than the general public to purchase organic foods and avoid GMOs.
How to Avoid and Detox Endocrine Disruptors
The most common endocrine disruptors we are likely to have in our bodies include Bisphenol–A, AKA BPAs, Phthalates (added to plastics to make them softer and last longer), Parabens, PBDE’s (found in flame retardants) PCB’s, Dioxin: (an unintentional by-product of many industrial processes), pesticides and herbicides, and heavy metals. It’s a scary list, and there’s obviously many more chemicals we haven’t heard about yet.
The good news is that studies have shown that fresh, raw, organic vegetables detox the body of all of these toxins. It’s becoming more and more imperative that we grow our own food and buy unpackaged, unprocessed food to prepare at home. Get gardening and get detoxing if you’re not already. See the recommended reading list below for more on this.
If you’re ready to send in a sample, unfortunately, the project was put on hold. Due to the enormous interest, they had to temporarily stop the urine and water testing program until they are working with a much larger lab, which is supposed to begin in “summer, 2016.” You can sign up if you’re interested at The Detox Project here.
- Understanding and Detoxifying Genetically Modified Foods
- Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included
- Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones
- How to Start a Vegetable Garden – How to Grow Vegetables
- How to Start an Organic Garden
- Detox Project
- UCSF Presentation Reveals Glyphosate Contamination in People Across America – Organic Consumers Association
- Nine Out of 10 Americans Tested Positive for Monsanto’s Cancer-Linked Weedkiller Glyphosate – Alternet