Glyphosate: the Herbicide Making its Way Into Your Pantry

Glyphosate may not necessarily be a household name yet but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t found its way into many of the foods you and your family eat on a daily basis. Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project have released a groundbreaking report Glyphosate: Unsafe on Any Plate that sheds light on the harmful and pervasive effects of glyphosate on our food and agricultural crops. We’ve summed up many of the findings revealed in the report so that you can make educated decisions when feeding your families.

What is Glyphosate?
A herbicide used to kill weeds, glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup used widely on their food and agricultural crops. While this toxic chemical is found in 750 products across the world, Monsanto’s Roundup accounts for most of its use.

How is it Used?
Glyphosate can be used on crops in two ways. The first occurs in genetically modified plants that are altered to withstand the toxic use of glyphosate-based herbicides. These GMO crops are turned into ingredients like refined sugars, oils, vitamins, or binding agents that can be found in 75 to 80% of the processed foods sold in the United States.

The other use of glyphosate-based herbicides is to spray on crops like wheat, oat, and barley to dry them before they are harvested. This can include crops considered non-GMO, which explains how Cheerios, labeled as a non-GMO food, topped the list of 29 foods tested to have levels of pesticide residue. Some other brand names that made the list are Oreos, Doritos, and Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

What’s the damage?
The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has labeled glyphosate as a “possible human carcinogen”. Other research has shown even low level exposure to Roundup can cause harm. Lab rats given doses of glyphosate at much lower levels than regulations allow have shown both kidney and liver damage as a result. In addition, glyphosate has been shown to act as an endocrine disruptor and cause of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Lastly, since glyphosate works as a binding agent, it prevents plants from absorbing nutrients in the soil, leaving the affected foods nutrient deficit.

How can you avoid?
With the discovery of these alarming results, it has been noted that the best way to avoid this residue in your foods is to eat organic. A 2014 study showed that eating an organic diet for as little as a week rid the body of 90% of pesticide residue found.

Read the full report: Glyphosate: Unsafe on Any Plate

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