The majority of Roundup dumped onto American land each year isn’t in our yards—it’s on our food crops.
Glyphosate, more commonly known as Roundup, is the most widely used agricultural chemical, doused on tons of genetically engineered crops that can withstand the pesticide. Chemical companies like Monstanto are making a huge profit on this practice, since they produce both the unnatural GE seed and the chemical that needs to be used on those seeds. (Here’s more on how much toxic Roundup you might unknowingly be eating.)
(Brag your love of gardening with the Organic Life 2018 Wall Calendar, featuring gorgeous photographs, cooking tips and recipes, plus how to eat more—and waste less—of what’s in season.)
And, we already know Roundup is bad news. Researchers at Iowa State University found that the heavy use of glyphosate has resulted in an 81 percent decrease in the monarch butterfly population. The World Health Organization has labeled glyphosate a probable cause of cancer and California has classified the herbicide as a carcinogen. A major scientific review of 44 studies found that glysphosate exposure doubles farmers’ risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, the Environmental Protection Agency argues that there is not enough evidence of the link between glyphosate and cancer, so it’s still being used on crops all over the U.S.
ENTER: THE GLYPHOSATE RESIDUE FREE SEAL
Two companies have taken action to test for glyphosate. The Florida company BioChecked and The Detox Project both have started issuing a non-glyphosate certification. The “Glyphosate Residue Free” label, which is issued by these companies, will be showing up in grocery stores to indicate whether foods (and beverages) contain any residue of the herbicide.
The new label taps into a real need—people want to know what’s in the food they’re eating—especially since it’s been shown that glyphosate is migrating even into organic foods, even if the growers aren’t using the pesticide themselves. Glyphosate contamination made big news recently when the herbicide was found in popular brands that use organic and Non-GMO Project-verified ingredients, like Ben & Jerry’s.
Now, companies want to get tested for glyphosate cross-contamination so consumers know what they are buying. To get certified, food companies pay an initial registration fee for the first year, with subsequent annual renewal fees. A third party tests seeds, food products, and single ingredients to confirm that products really are free of glyphosate (or have very low levels).
Watch the video below to see how eating only organic food helped one boy’s autism symptoms.
There is some positive news: The Food and Drug Administration recently announced it started preliminary testing of soybean, corn, milk and egg samples for glyphosate residues. The FDA also noted that it will include glyphosate testing results in future annual reports of its Pesticide Residue Monitoring Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced last year that it would start testing food products for glyphosate, too, but there’s been no action yet. (Here are some more sustainability labels and products you should know about.)
Hopefully one day glyphosate will be banned from U.S. crops, and we’ll return to more natural, soil-nourishing farming methods. For now, you can check foods in your grocery store for the new label, plus keep buying organic food to send farmers and companies a clear message about what you want.