World's top herbicide in you, me, and our pee

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Glyphosate. Yeah, it's from Monsanto. It's in those bottles of Roundup you've seen in your neighbor's garage.

So perhaps it will be no surprise that independent testing by the University of California San Francisco found this chemical herbicide in the urine samples of 93% of Americans.

With vast swathes of our country covered in genetically-modified crops that require the use of Round-up to kill the weeds (and any collateral plants and animals that aren't engineered to resist glyphosate), that's not surprising.

And possibly you also won't be surprised by the fact that many authorities think glyphosate is perfectly safe. The World Health Organization (WHO) in March of 2015 declared it as a 'probable human carcinogen' but more recently a new safety review by the WHO and the US Food and Agriculture Organization said glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer in people.

Amazingly, WHO says these two views are not contradictory. Instead the first declaration was about glyphosate as a possible 'hazard' for humans while the second assessed glyphosate's 'risk' to humans.

Glyphosate enters our body through crop residues in GMO foods like soy milk and corn flakes, but it also used on non-GMO row crops like wheat and even on row veggies like spinach, thus it may be in a variety of foods, from bread to beets to beer.

The UN/FAO group making the new safety review gave glyphosate an acceptable daily intake (ADI) of up to 1 milligram of glyphosate for every kilogram of body weight.

Testing carried out at the University of California at San Francisco, paid for by The Detox Project (an NGO that helps the public test for chemical levels) showed that most people (93% of a test pool of 131) have glyphosate in their bodies. That's a small test sample, but still significant. Children had the highest average levels.

So, whether risk or hazard, what should you do?

If you, like me, would rather stay away from glyphosate, eating an organic diet is a great first step. Or, you can test yourself, then go organic, then retest.

Secondarily, read some of the research around glyphosate - there's currently debate raging in the EU on whether to reapprove use of this herbicide, and some nations such as the Netherlands are saying 'no' to glyphosate.

For more on The Detox Project - go here.

Tags: Agriculture | Chemicals | Monsanto | Organic Agriculture

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