July 25, 2015

Module: Glyphosate Residues in Our Bodies and Food


This is the first of a series of modules, each being a short assembly of the evidence to date. I’ll add to each as new evidence rolls in, which it will continue to do. The modules will then be easily linkable for subsequent analytical pieces.
This module will assemble the findings on glyphosate residues which independent research, in spite of its starvation ration of financial resources, has detected in our bodies, food, and crops. If anyone’s aware of evidence I don’t have here, please add it in comments. A subsequent module will assemble the experimental evidence which found harmful health effects of glyphosate and Roundup exposure, comparing the exposure levels in those studies to the residue levels documented here in our food and bodies. Another piece will compare the levels proven harmful to the levels allowed by regulators in our food and water.
Many of the levels detected are high even compared to the invariably industry-friendly regulatory levels. But even low residue levels are significant and dangerous, since glyphosate is an endocrine disruptor. This means it can cause cancer and birth defects even at very low doses.
*In 2013 Moms Across America and Sustainable Pulse jointly gathered ten breast milk samples, as well as 35 urine samples and 21 drinking water samples, and had these sent for testing. The lab tests found “high” levels of glyphosate residue, ranging from 76 ug/l to 166 ug/l, in 3 of the milk samples. These levels “are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides.” Of the 35 urine samples collected from across the US, 13 were “above the minimum detectable level”, as much as 10 times the level found in a 2013 European survey (see below). 13 of the 21 samples of drinking water “contained glyphosate levels of between 0.085 ug/l and 0.33 ug/l. This is below the levels found in both urine and breast milk but is still cause for concern, as the European (EU) maximum allowed level for glyphosate in drinking water is 0.1 ug/l.”
Corporate science asserts without evidence that glyphosate does not bioaccumulate. This is why no regulator anywhere in the world has set a regulatory limit for the amount of glyphosate in breast milk. It’s a classical tactic: by refusing to acknowledge the phenomenon in theory or in policy, a bureaucratic system tries to disappear it from reality.

The levels found in the breast milk testing of 76 ug/l to 166 ug/l are 760 to 1600 times higher than the European Drinking Water Directive allows for individual pesticides. They are however less than the 700 ug/l maximum contaminant level (MCL) for glyphosate in the U.S., which was decided upon by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) based on the now seemingly false premise that glyphosate was not bio-accumulative.

These findings are especially damaging to Monsanto and the EPA because they falsify the corporate-science dogma that glyphosate does not bioaccumulate. We now know it does. This is the main fact which Monsanto is now desperate to obfuscate, as I describe below.
*In Germany the Green Party had its own similar 2015 test done using 16 breast milk samples. The testing found residues between 0.210 and 0.432 ug/l. This is over 2-4X the EU’s allowed level in drinking water, and provides further proof of bioaccumulation.
*In 2013 Friends of The Earth Europe commissioned a survey of people in 18 European countries, testing urine samples for glyphosate residues. “The maximum levels of glyphosate found in the tests ranged from 0.16 ug/l in Switzerland to 1.82 ug/l in Latvia.”
*In 2013 Testbiotech found high levels of glyphosate residue in Argentine soybeans. 7 of 11 samples had levels higher than the allowed level of 20 mg/kg for EU importation. The levels were as high as almost 100 mg/kg.
*In 2014 independent scientists performed a compositional study of an array of soybean varieties grown under commercial conditions in Iowa. The study found that soybeans engineered to be Roundup Ready and subsequently sprayed during the growing season contain extremely high levels of glyphosate and its breakdown product AMPA, an average of 9.0 mg/kg. This is a level much higher than the 5.6 mg/kg which Monsanto itself called “extreme” in a 1999 publication.
The poison and its breakdown residues are incorporated into the tissues of the crop, which is engineered merely to assimilate them, sustaining significant weaknesses and nutritional deficiencies along the way but not dying. The poison is then an intrinsic part of the food people and livestock eat. It can’t be washed off, any more than endemic Bt insecticidal poisons, or the many other agricultural poisons which are designed to be suffused through all the tissues of the crop. When we eat any of these false crops, we are eating what are literally poison plants.
Charles Benbrook, author of magisterial surveys of how GMOs have driven increased pesticide use, has stated that “Most genetically engineered soybeans now moving through trade channels worldwide contain 2 ppm to over 10 ppm of glyphosate plus its major metabolite, AMPA.”.
*The US Geological Survey published a study which found that 75% of air and rain samples collected in Mississippi in 2007 contained glyphosate residue. The study compared 2007 levels in the air and water of various agricultural poisons with levels from 1995. In 2007 glyphosate, the main ingredient of Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, was by far the most common poison. This is entirely on account of the explosive surge in its use since the commercialization of GMOs. In pre-GMO 1995 its usage was so low it wasn’t even measured. For comparison, atrazine, metolachlor, and propanil were detected in 50% or more of the samples in both 2007 and 1995. This is a good demonstration of how the claim made for Roundup Ready GMOs, that they would lower overall poison use, was a lie. Instead, glyphosate use has skyrocketed while the use of other herbicides has remained steady.
*Researchers found significant glyphosate residues in honey, pancake and corn syrup, soy sauce, soy milk and tofu purchased in the Philadelphia region.
*GMO Free USA, as part of its ongoing investigation of poison levels in popular foods including those marketed to children, has commissioned tests which found glyphosate residues (as well as identifiably GM DNA fragments) in Kellogg’s Froot Loops and Frito-Lay Sunchips.
*Government testing for glyphosate residues in food is sporadic in Europe and nonexistent in the US. Nevertheless spotty testing in European countries has consistently found glyphosate residues in UK bread and wheat bran and German barley.
This evidence is damaging enough to Monsanto that it has taken the step of commissioning its own fraudulent counter-study at Washington State University. The Monsanto project is directed and spoken for by a Michelle McGuire, a typical corporate-science cadre who has spent her career as a Monsanto propagandist. Propagandists like these authors (one of them is named “Lackey”, I kid you not) don’t even pretend to be real scientists anymore. Every Monsanto “study” already has two elements which automatically exclude it from the realm of science: The use of secret data and/or methods (by definition scientific information has to be fully public), and that it’s performed by or at the commission of the corporation itself. Both reason itself and the historical evidence record absolutely rule out accepting the corporation’s own “evidence” as having any validity whatsoever. We know the corporation does nothing but lie, and we know the fox cannot guard the henhouse.
Another element we see here as well as with other pro-GMO “studies” like the recent sweet potato/HGT paper, is blatantly political and
anti-scientific editorializing by the “researchers” and their signal boosters. Based on the existing evidence, no legitimate scientist would say anything like “glyphosate does not bioaccumulate and is not present in human milk” or that “the Moms Across America study flat out got it wrong”. The evidence calls for vastly more modest statements than these, if one is a scientist. Will Ferguson, the corporate publicist who wrote the press release, tells various direct lies, such as that Covance Labs, the “independent verifier” of the original study’s analysis which was conducted by Monsanto itself (!), has no relationship with Monsanto. In fact Covance has a longstanding close professional relationship with Monsanto. Ferguson also claims to be one of those idiots who wouldn’t be able to find the US on a map, since according to his headline he thinks two small Northwest cities comprise “the US”. The Orwellian character of these studies and their publicity methods proves that they’re not scientific nor meant to be, but are meant to be propaganda blasts dressed up in pseudo-science garb.
McGuire is not a scientist but a fraud and a criminal liar. I propose that fighters for Food Sovereignty become more relentless and assertive in publicizing this fact, in every such case of Science Fraud. This example is also the first of a series.



  1. Several of these evidence points, and several more, are discussed here. The footnote numbers refer to studies listed in the report.


    “Unsurprisingly, glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA are widely found in the environment and in the bodies of people and animals. Study findings include:

    *Glyphosate and its toxic metabolite AMPA were found in over 75% of the air and rain samples tested from the Mississippi Delta agricultural region in 2007. The researchers noted that the widespread presence of glyphosate was due to the cultivation of GM glyphosate-tolerant crops.27

    *Glyphosate and AMPA were frequently detected in streams in the American Midwest during the growing season.28

    *In a monitoring programme in Denmark, glyphosate and AMPA were washed out of the root zone of some types of soil and into drainage water in average concentrations that exceeded the EU permitted limit for drinking water (0.1 μg/l).29,30

    *Glyphosate was found circulating in the blood of non-pregnant women living in Canada. The amounts of glyphosate detected ranged from undetectable to 93.6 ng/ml (93.6μg/L), with an average of 73.6ng/ml (73.6μg/L).31 Worryingly, this is well within the range of glyphosate concentration found in vitro to have endocrine disruptive effects on the estrogen hormone system,24 which can lead to slow-onset disease upon long-term exposure and adverse reproductive and developmental effects in offspring.9

    *In an in vitro study modelling human exposures, 15% of administered glyphosate crossed the human placental barrier and entered the foetal compartment.32 The study showed that the placental barrier in mammals does not protect the unborn foetus from glyphosate exposures.

    *Laboratory testing commissioned by two civil society organizations found levels of glyphosate in American women’s breast milk of 76 μg/L to 166 μg/L – that is, 760 to 1600 times higher than the EU permitted level in drinking water. These levels were, however, less than the 700 μg/Lmaximum contaminant level (MCL) for glyphosate in drinking water in the US. Tests on the women’s urine found maximum glyphosate levels over 8 times higher than those found in the urine of Europeans33 (see next item below). These high levels raise the question of whether glyphosate bioaccumulates in our bodies. If it does, then so-called safe levels are meaningless, since the glyphosate could build up to dangerous levels even if daily exposures are low.

    *In laboratory testing commissioned by Friends of the Earth, glyphosate and AMPA were found in the urine of respectively 44% and 36% of European city dwellers. Levels detected varied but the highest levels of glyphosate and AMPA were respectively 1.8 μg/L and 2.6 μg/L.34

    *Urinary levels of glyphosate were 1.6 ppb in farming fathers and 1.5 ppb in non-farming fathers. For farming mothers, levels were 1.1 ppb, and for non-farming mothers, 1.2 ppb. For children of farmers, the levels were 1.9 ppb, and for children of non-farming families, the glyphosate urinary levels were 2.5 ppb. Urinary burdens in non-farm children were slightly higher than those in farm children. The authors suggested that this was because of the widespread use of glyphosate in non-farm areas, such as in home gardens.35

    *Glyphosate was found in the urine of cows, humans, and rabbits. Cows kept in a GM-free area had significantly lower glyphosate concentrations in urine than cows in conventional livestock systems. Glyphosate was also detected in the intestines, liver, muscles, spleen and kidney of slaughtered cows. Glyphosate levels were significantly higher in urine of humans who ate non-organic food, compared with those who ate mostly organic food. Chronically ill people showed significantly higher glyphosate residues in their urine than healthy people.36”

    Comment by Russ — July 25, 2015 @ 3:47 am

  2. Reblogged this on New Human New Earth.

    Comment by NewHuman NewEarth — July 28, 2015 @ 1:22 pm

  3. In the post I mentioned an alleged exoneration of Monsanto cobbled together by corporate publicists posing as scientists. They’ve now further dug their own graves, issuing a one-page summary which is supposed to defend their work, but instead includes elementary errors and dubious methodological standards. In addition, the lead hack has admitted that the samples weren’t newly collected for a glyphosate residue study, but were snatched from old leftovers from a completely different study. There’s your standards of practice among practitioners of the corporate “science” paradigm.


    The piece also gives examples of the lead hack engaging in the standard practice of impersonating various kinds of experts outside her own field of formal training. More on this unanimous practice of corporate “science” practitioners here.


    Comment by Russ — July 30, 2015 @ 10:36 am

  4. New results from testing of breast milk for glyphosate residue, from Pennsylvania.


    Twelve Lancaster County mothers submitted breast milk samples which were tested by Microbe Inotech Laboratories is St. Louis Missouri using the ELISA method. The mother with the highest detectable level of glyphosate in her breast milk, 91 parts per billion, is a farmer who lives and works on a farm in Lancaster County. She has self -reported spraying glyphosate during her pregnancy and additional exposure in the environment where she lives and works. This mother has an infant child with neuroblastoma, a very rare type of cancerous tumor. In March of this year, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate to be a class two probable carcinogen. Leading researcher on glyphosate, Dr. Stephanie Seneff, senior research scientist at MIT, was consulted about the possible connection between the high level of glyphosate in the mother’s breast milk and her baby’s cancer: “It is likely that glyphosate played a role in the neuroblastoma. These tumors usually develop in the adrenal glands, and the adrenal glands are highly stressed by glyphosate because it disrupts StAR the rate limiting step in steroid synthesis. It knocks down StAR activity by an extraordinary amount.”

    There is currently no regulatory limit for the amount of glyphosate in breast milk anywhere in the world. However, the EPA has set a legally enforceable maximum contaminant level for glyphosate of 700 parts per billion in drinking water in the USA, while the maximum contaminant level in Europe is .2 parts per billion.

    Comment by Russ — August 7, 2015 @ 1:13 am

  5. GMO Free USA’s latest investigative report, this time finding high glyphosate and AMPA residues in Kellogg’s Kashi brand cereal.


    A glyphosate residue test was conducted by an accredited lab using the Specific LC/MS/MS testing method with a minimum detectable level of 0.02 ppm. The test documented the presence of glyphosate in the box of Kashi GoLean Original which was not verified by the Non-GMO Project, at a level of 0.68 ppm, or 0.68 mg/kg. This level is nearly 6 times higher than the levels detected in the independent testing we commissioned on Froot Loops. The test also documented the presence of AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid), a metabolite of glyphosate, at an even higher level of 0.81ppm or 0.81mg/kg. This is the first time the lab has documented the presence of AMPA in the products we’ve had tested. The test results give significant reason for concern. There is a growing body of scientific evidence (4) that links glyphosate to health and environmental harm.

    The testing also confirmed the presence of GM soy and corn DNA fragments.

    Comment by Russ — August 7, 2015 @ 2:02 am

  6. […] equivalence” and the next two sections.) Because of Roundup Ready GMOs, Campbell’s products almost certainly are loaded with cancer-causing glyphosate. So in addition to the usual political lies, we see how […]

    Pingback by The Two Versions of the DARK Act | Volatility — January 12, 2016 @ 9:11 am

  7. […] to what the likes of the FDA and EPA say and you’ll come across it frequently. So it is with glyphosate levels in food. . But as the political pressure mounts against regulator dereliction and collaboration where it […]

    Pingback by Under Pressure the FDA Says It Will Test for Glyphosate Residues In Food | Volatility — February 21, 2016 @ 4:59 am

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