The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) announced Tuesday that traces of glyphosate, the main herbicide used in Roundup, has been found in 10 if 11 ice cream flavors sold by Ben & Jerry’s, reports The New York Times. The news is troubling for the ice cream maker, who has branded itself as family friendly and environmentally conscious.
“We’re working to transition away from [genetically modified organisms], as far as we can get,” said Rob Michalak, global director of social mission at Ben & Jerry’s. “But then these tests come along, and we need to better understand where the glyphosate they’re finding is coming from. Maybe it’s from something that’s not even in our supply chain, and so we’re missing it.”
Though the traces detected in their ice cream are minute – a 75-pound child would have to consume 145,000 eight-ounce servings a day to reach unsafe levels as determined by the Environmental Protection Agency; adults would have to eat 290,000 servings – the presence of the herbicide still raises concern.
The OCA and a number of consumers across the country have raised awareness about glyphosate and its presence in various foods, noting that some studies have linked it to a variety of diseases. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, for example, said earlier this year that it “probably” could cause some cancers.
Monsanto, as well as other companies, hotly refute this. They, along with governmental authorities and other regulators, assert that the levels found in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is negligible. But those levels set by the government are, to some, questionable.
“Not everyone agrees with the acceptable levels governments have set,” said Ronnie Cummins, founder and international director of the OAC. “Andy, anyway, would you want to be eating this stuff at all?”
Among the 10 flavors exhibiting traces of glyphosate in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Chocolate Fudge Brownie showed the highest levels, at 1.74 parts per billion – far lower than even European regulations would allow.
“Based on these government thresholds, the levels found in Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream would seem totally irrelevant,” said Dr. John Fagan, chief executive of the Health Research Institute Laboratories.
The only flavor of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream that did not have glyphosate in it? Cherry Garcia. What do you think of this? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.