Small amounts of a weed killer have recently been detected in several world-famous wine and beer brands, according to a new report.
Traces of glyphosate were found in almost all of the leading beverages in a study conducted by US PIRG, a public-interest advocacy group.
The group tested 15 beers and 5 wines, including the organic ones. Some popular brands which were analyzed are Coors Light, Corona, Heineken, Samuel Adams, Miller Lite, and Budweiser.
According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, part of the WHO, glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen.
It is the most frequently used herbicide across the globe and it’s an essential ingredient of the controversial weed killer Roundup.
Although the report acknowledged that glyphosate’s levels were lower than set by the Environmental Protection Agency, yet there could be several negative effects of the traces found in beverages.
‘The levels of glyphosate we found are not necessarily dangerous, but are still concerning given the potential health risks,’ PIRG told USA TODAY.
The highest levels of the chemical came out to be 51.4 parts per billion in the 2018 Sutter Home Merlot.
Coors Light had the highest concentration in American beers with 31.1ppb, and Tsingtao from Hong Kong had the highest concentration in beers around the world with 49.7ppb.
‘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 barbecue around the country,’ the study author, US PIRG Education Fund’s Kara Cook-Schultz, said of the findings.
The Beer Institute, a national trade organization, released a statement to USA TODAY to respond to the findings.
‘Our members work with farmers who go to great lengths to raise their crops sustainably and safely….and the results of the most recent federal testing showed farmers’ use of glyphosate falls well below federal limits,’ the statement said.
Another statement from the organization 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.”‘
Some of the companies whose beverages were analyzed said the traces found in the samples can’t be eliminated while others questioned the authenticity of the results.
Organic winery Frey Vineyards said they don’t use herbicides and the traces were beyond their control because glyphosate is now found in rainwater.
Bayer’s toxicologist William Reeves said PIRG has exaggerated the results.
‘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 told USA.
‘To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.’
Bayer, which owns Roundup manufacturer Monsanto, is facing more than 9,000 lawsuits alleging that its weed killer containing chemical glyphosate causes cancer.
‘With a federal court looking at the connection between Roundup and cancer today, we believe this is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on glyphosate,’ Cook-Schultz said of the on-going federal trial against the company.
‘This chemical could prove a true risk to so many Americans’ health, and they should know that it is everywhere – including in many of their favorite drinks.’
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