Stella, Heineken and Budweiser contain glyphosate
Predictably, the test results featured in the article below, which revealed that glyphosate is present in beers, are being dismissed by industry as unimportant because the levels found are below official safety limits for the chemical. Industry gets away with this because there is a severe lack of relevant research on low-dose effects of glyphosate herbicides. Scientists, please take note.
Herbicide used in weed killer Roundup found in beers including Stella, Heineken and Budweiser
Metro, 26 Feb 2019
Traces of a controversial weed killer have been detected in many household-name beers and wines, according to a new report. The herbicide glyphosate was found in all but one of 20 brands – including organic ones – in a study conducted by public-interest advocacy group US PIRG. The report came on the same day that a court began hearing arguments about whether glyphosate causes cancer.
Among the beers the weed killer was found in were Stella Artois, Tsingtao, Budweiser, Coors, Corona, Guinness and Heineken.
Glyphosate is the most common herbicide in the world and used on barley and many other raw brewing materials. It is a possible [GMW: Incorrect – should be "probable"] human carcinogen, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the World Health Organization.
Glyphosate is also the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, which is at the centre of several multi-million dollar lawsuits in the US. The report acknowledged that the levels detected in the beers and wine were ‘inadvertent’ and below the limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. However, the report noted that the results will be of concern to the public.
U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Kara Cook-Schultz, who authored the study, said: ‘When you’re having a beer or a glass of wine, the last thing you want to think about is that it includes a potentially dangerous pesticide. ‘No matter the efforts of brewers and vintners, we found that it is incredibly difficult to avoid the troubling reality that consumers will likely drink glyphosate at every happy hour and backyard barbeque around the country.’
The highest concentration of glyphosate was found in the 2018 Sutter Home merlot, which came in at 51.4 parts per billion, or ppb. For beer, Tsingtao from Hong Kong had the most with 49.7ppb, and Coors Light had the most for American beers with 31.1ppb. The chemical was also found in alcoholic brands that were organic, such as Peak and Samuel Smith. A spokesperson for the Brewers Association, which represents more than 4,900 small and independent craft brewers, said: ‘Brewers do not want glyphosate used on barley or any raw brewing material, and the barley grower organizations have also come out strongly against glyphosate.’
And another spokesperson for the Wine Institute said: ‘An adult would have to drink more than 140 glasses of wine a day containing the highest glyphosate level measured just to reach the level that California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has identified as “No Significant Risk Level.”‘ William Reeves, a toxicologist for Bayer, which now owns Roundup manufacturer Monsanto, accused PIRG of blowing the results out of proportion. ‘Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the US Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for human,’ Reeves said. ‘To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.’
Bayer is currently facing some 9,300 lawsuits alleging that its popular glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup causes cancer. The first federal trial against the company began on Monday in California, six months after Bayer’s share price was rocked by a $289million verdict in California state court. Edwin Hardeman, 70, used Roundup on his property for three-decades and says he believes it caused his non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monsanto says studies have established that glyphosate is safe.