Glyphosate, the controversial ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, has been found in 19 out of 20 wine and beer brands tested by public interest group U.S. PRIG, including some brands that claim to be organic.
“This chemical could prove a true risk to so many Americans’ health, and they should know that it is everywhere – including many of their favorite drinks,” study author and U.S. PRIG Toxic’s Director Kara Cook-Schultz told USA Today.
Sutter Home Merlot had the highest concentration of glyphosate – 51.4 parts per billion (ppb). Tsingtao Beer was a close second with 49.7 ppb.
- Sutter Home Merlot: 51.4 ppb
- Beringer Founders Estates Moscato: 42.6 ppb
- Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon: 36.3 ppb
- Inkarri Malbec, Certified Organic: 5.3 ppb
- Frey Organic Natural White: 4.8 ppb
- Tsingtao Beer: 49.7 ppb
- Coors Light: 31.1 ppb
- Miller Lite: 29.8 ppb
- Budweiser: 27.0 ppb
- Corona Extra: 25.1 ppb
- Heineken: 20.9 ppb
- Guinness Draught: 20.3 ppb
- Stella Artois: 18.7 ppb
- Ace Perry Hard Cider: 14.5 ppb
- Sierra Nevada Pale Ale: 11.8 ppb
- New Belgium Fat Tire Amber Ale: 11.2 ppb
- Sam Adams New England IPA: 11.0 ppb
- Stella Artois Cidre: 9.1 ppb
- Samuel Smith’s Organic Lager: 5.7 ppb
The lone beverage tested that didn’t show any traces of glyphosate was Peak Beer Organic IPA.
Glyphosate exposure is concerning. After all, in 2015, the World Heath Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. It is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, and the chemical blamed by thousands of people for causing them to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The first trial to hold Monsanto accountable for not warning consumers of this risk was held last summer in California and ended in the jury ordering Monsanto to pay Dewayne “Lee” Johnson, a school groundskeeper, $289 million. The award was later reduced to $78 million, but the jury’s message rang clear – if Johnson hadn’t been exposed to glyphosate in Roundup, there’s a good chance he wouldn’t be sick today.
William Reeves, a toxicologist with Bayer, the parent company of Monanto, which sells Roundup, offered this reassurance: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency sets daily exposure limits at least 100 times below levels shown to have no negative effect in safety studies. Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4 ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for humans. To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.”