UPDATE (09/12/18): the current list has been updated with results from the Environmental Defence group in Canada.
Concern over glyphosate in food is on the rise after Monsanto was found guilty in covering up their cancer-causing product, Roundup. Monsanto has been under scrutiny ever since they were ordered to pay $289 million in damages to plaintiff, Dewayne Johnson.
Just after the first successful trial in taking down Monsanto, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) published a haunting report on the levels of glyphosate in food. According to the independent laboratory tests commissioned by the EWG, popular oat cereals, oatmeal, granola and snack bars come with a heavy dose of the cancer-causing weedkiller, Roundup.
Why Should We Care About Glyphosate in Food?
Glyphosate is the main ingredient found in the popular weed-killer Roundup. Back in 2015, a famous study published by the International Agency for Research of Cancer (IARC) came to the conclusion that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans (1).”
The link between glyphosate and Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma is particularly strong. One study, published in 2008 by Swedish researchers, found that exposure to glyphosate tripled the risk of a subtype of non-Hodgkin called small lymphocytic lymphoma (2).
Another study published in 2003 showed a suggestive link between glyphosate-based herbicide use and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The more pesticides a subject used, the more non-Hodgkin lymphoma incidences increased. Subjects who used five or more of the nine pesticides were “twice as likely to be NHL cases than controls (3).”
Glyphosate also interferes with the ability of a plant to uptake nutrients from the soil. Glyphosate, which is a patented chelating agent, binds with nutrients in the soil, and prevents plants from absorbing them. It also acts as an antibiotic (7), which can kill bacteria both in the soil, and our own guts (both of which are incredibly important for plant and human health).
Regardless of the evidence, Monsanto still states that “Glyphosate has a 40-year history of safe and effective use. In evaluations spanning those four decades, the overwhelming conclusion of experts worldwide, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been that glyphosate can be used safely.” Despite the lawsuit, it seems Monsanto is still in denial.
Products and Brands Filled with Glyphosate
Aside from the EWG report on glyphosate in food, other companies have also done independent testing for glyphosate residues in everyday food products. In 2016, Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project commissioned tests that found high levels of glyphosate in many American foods – even products that are certified organic or non-GMO.
Below is a complete list of foods that contain glyphosate residues. I’ve combined data from both the report EWG released, as well as the reports released from Food Democracy Now! and the group’s “Detox Project.” I’ve also updated this list (September 12/2018) with recent results from Environmental Defence in Canada, who also tested various food products commonly found in supermarkets.
EWG Report (source):
– Back to Nature Classic Granola
– Quaker Simply Granola Oats, Honey, Raisins & Almonds
– Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters
– Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats ‘n Honey
– KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
• Instant Oats
– Giant Instant Oatmeal, Original Flavor
– Quaker Dinosaur Eggs, Brown Sugar, Instant Oatmeal
– Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan
– Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream
• Oat Breakfast Cereal
– Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal
– Cheerios Toasted Whole Grain Oat Cereal
– Lucky Charms
– Barbara’s Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal
– Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal
• Snack Bars
– KIND Oats & Honey with Toasted Coconut
– Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats ‘n Honey
– Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar
– Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry
• Whole Oats
– Quaker Steel Cut Oats
– Quaker Old Fashioned Oats
– Bob’s Red Mill Steel Cut Oats
– Nature’s Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats
– Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats
– Bob’s Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (4 samples tested)
Environmental Defence (source):
– Catelli Healthy Harvest Multigrain Spaghetti
– Cheerios cereal
– Fontaine Santé Roasted Garlic Hummus
– Kelloggs Froot Loops Cereal
– Kraft Dinner Original macaroni and cheese
– PC Blue Menu Tortillas 100% Whole Grain
– Pogo Original (breading only)
– Quaker Large Flake Oats
– Ritz Original crackers
– Sabra Classic Hummus
– The Original Oreo cookie
– Tim Hortons Chocolate Glazed Timbit
– Tim Hortons Sesame Seed Bagel
– Unico Chickpeas
Moms Across America (source):
– Tropicana Orange Juice
– Minute Maid Orange Juice
– Stater Bros Orange Juice
– Signature Farms Orange Juice
– Kirkland Orange Juice
Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project (source):
– Original Cheerios
– Honey Nut Cheerios
– Annie’s Gluten Free Bunny Cookies Cocoa & Vanilla
– Kellog’s Corn Flakes
– Kellog’s Raisin Bran
– Kashi Organic Promise
– Kellog’s Special K
– Kellog’s Frosted Flakes
– Cheez-It Original
– Cheez-It Whole Grain
– Kashi Soft Bake Cookies, Oatmeal, Dark Chocolate
– Ritz Crackers
– Triscuit Crackers
– Oreo Original
– Oreo Double Stuf Chocolate Sandwich Cookies
– Oreo Double Stuf Golden Sandwich Cookies
– Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips (Frito-Lay)
– Lay’s: Kettle Cooked Original
– Doritos: Cool Ranch
– Fritos (Original) (100% Whole Grain)
– Goldfish crackers original (Pepperidge Farm)
– Goldfish crackers colors
– Goldfish crackers Whole Grain
– Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies
– Oatmeal Cookies Gluten Free
– 365 Organic Golden Round Crackers
– Back to Nature Crispy Cheddar Crackers
Other Brands/Products and Miscellaneous:
How To Steer Clear of Glyphosate in Foods
Glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing (it is absorbed into the plant while it’s growing). It also is not broken down by cooking or baking.
In order to avoid glyphosate in food, follow the pointers below:
1. Look for ORGANIC Non-GMO Project Verified Items
If you’re purchasing a processed food item (that is, something boxed, bagged or canned), you can make sure it doesn’t contain GMO ingredients by looking for the Non-GMO Project Verified symbol (see below). While non-GMO verified means the item will be not be “Roundup Ready,” that doesn’t mean that the crop it came from will not be sprayed with glyphosate to dry out the crop (such as the case with oats and wheat). So make sure you follow tip number 2 (below). When buying a non-gmo project verified item, also make sure that item in organic!
2. Certified Organic is Better Than Non-Organic
By purchasing certified organic foods, you’ll be rest assured that your food doesn’t contain any glyphosate-containing chemicals. Unfortunately, glyphosate use is so rampant, that some organic foods may contain small amounts of glyphosate residues (say, from neighboring crops). The good news is that organic foods contain much lower levels of glyphosate compared to their conventional counterparts.
3. Look for Glyphosate Residue Free Labels
The Detox Project, a research and certification platform that uses an FDA-registered food-testing lab to test for toxic chemicals launched their own “Glyphosate Residue Free” label. This label offers more transparency and assures the purchaser that they’re not getting any glyphosate in the food they’re buying. While these labels aren’t mainstream, the Detox Project is working with food manufacturers and grocery chains to get this label on more products.