Biochemical giant Monsanto has found itself under increased scrutiny after the World Health Organization recently announced that glyphosate is likely carcinogenic to humans.
Also, in the US, California recently labelled Monsanto’s Roundup — as known to cause cancer. Under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, chemicals that cause cancer, birth defects, or other reproductive harm are required to be listed and published by the state.
The slew of studies showing the adverse health effects of Roundup on laboratory animals as well as humans are overwhelmingly ominous which makes news of the chemical being found in high quantities in beer that much more worrisome.
After dumping 2.6 billion pounds of this known carcinogen on the US for the past two decades, the problem has gotten so out of hand that the FDA has announced that they will begin testing certain foods for traces of glyphosate.
“The agency is now considering assignments for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher told Civil Eats, an American food news publication.
As more people become aware of this dangerous herbicide, its presence is being tested for, and popping up, everywhere.
Last month, the Environmental Institute in Munich, Germany, tested 14 of the best selling beers in Germany and found that all of them contained traces of glyphosate.
After their study grabbed the attention of the world, the Microbe Inotech Lab of St. Louis conducted a similar study here in the US; this time, on wine.
The results are even more disastrous as they showed the presence of glyphosate in 100% of all wines they tested — even the organic ones.
According to the study,
All ten of the wines tested positive for the chemical glyphosate, the declared “active” ingredient in Roundup weedkiller and 700 other glyphosatebased herbicides. The highest level of glyphosate detected was up to 28.4 times higher than the other wines at 18.74 ppb from a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from a conventional, chemically farmed vineyard. The lowest level was from a biodynamic and organic vineyard, 2013 Syrah, which has never been sprayed according to the owner, with a level of .659 ppb. An organic wine from 2012 mixed red wine grapes, had 0.913 ppb of glyphosate.
The question asked after this study was how is glyphosate getting into the wine? Wouldn’t it kill the grapes it was sprayed on? The answer to that question is yes, however, most conventional vineyards still use glyphosate.
According to the study:
Roundup/glyphosate is sprayed every year in conventional vineyards. A 12 ft strip is sprayed on either side of the grape vines which are planted in rows, to kill weeds when the plants are dormant in late winter or early spring. This results in a 24 foot strip of Roundup sprayed soil with grapevines in the middle. According to Dr. Don Huber at a talk given at the Acres USA farm conference in December of 2011, the vine stems are inevitably sprayed in this process and the Roundup is likely absorbed through the roots and bark of the vines from where it is translocated into the leaves and grapes.
Roundup/glyphosate cannot be used in organic vineyards so the presence of glyphosate/Roundup in the two wines using organic and biodynamic grapes is obviously unexpected. Since the majority of vineyards in these three counties use Roundup/glyphosate and spray at the same time, it is suspected that airborne drift from nearby vineyards contaminated the organic and biodynamic crops. Glyphosate/Roundup could also appear in organic grape wine from vineyards which were conventionally managed and then converted to organic. According to several scientific studies glyphosate/Roundup can remain viable in the soil for over 20 years.
While this study only detects the amounts of glyphosate in the wines, it is important to note that no conclusions on human health can be drawn from it. However, the mere presence of such a highly suspect toxin should raise concern, especially in the organic wines.
This is terrible news for those who purchase organics. Just like their GMO seeds drift into organic farmers’ fields and contaminate their crops, it seems Monsanto’s Round Up is also proving to be a chemically invasive function of industrial farming.