New research from public health groups and scientists from the past several years indicates that food and drinks are contaminated with glyphosate, the main ingredient in the weed killer Roundup. This is a potential health problem because in 2015 the World Health Organization found that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, and in 2017, the state of California agreed.
Sutter Home wine
Of the 20 samples we tested, 19 contained glyphosate. The highest level of glyphosate found was in Sutter Home wine, at 51 ppb.
Our results also showed that some organic beer and wine contains glyphosate. Although glyphosate is not allowed or used in organic farming, several types of organic products were contaminated, such as Samuel Smith Organic at 3.5 ppb. Inkarri Estate organic wine contained 5.2 ppb.
Large, conventional brands such as Coors, Tsingtao, and Miller Lite showed glyphosate levels above 25 ppb.
One brand, Peak Beer, did not contain detectable levels of glyphosate.
This news has far-reaching impacts. In 2018, a jury in California found that Roundup was a major cause of a man’s cancer, and awarded him $78 million in damages. Thousands of other people, mostly farmers, are now alleging that their incurable cancers may have been caused by Roundup. And in January 2019, France banned the use of Roundup, citing it as a “serious risk” to human health. Other countries in the EU are considering similar bans.
Glyphosate use by year
Roundup in our food, beverages, and water
To explore how much Roundup we’re drinking, U.S. PIRG tested beer and wine for glyphosate/Roundup. As we’ve confirmed in this study, Roundup is found in beer and wine. This confirms past studies on the topic, which found that glyphosate is found in almost all adult beverages. For example, in 2016, beer testing in Germany also revealed residues of glyphosate in every single sample tested, even in independent beers. After that study was released, German brewers managed to severely limit the amount of glyphosate used in brewing, and saw marked improvement in a 2017 follow-up study. A study from 2018 in Latvia came to similar conclusions as the original German study, finding glyphosate in all products tested.
We tested 20 products: Five wines and 15 beers. The wine brands tested included Beringer, Barefoot and Sutter Home. Beer brands tested included Budweiser, Coors, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Samuel Smith Organic and New Belgium.
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.The Brewers Association
Certifies small independent and craft beers, opposes glyphosate use in their beer.