The Greenies Have It In For Glyphosate – Now It’s In US Cereals

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It rather looks like we’ve a coordinated move against the use of glyphosate, the ubiquitous weedkiller. Just yesterday we spotted a story from India. Someone went and tested some pulses and found that there were traces of glyphosate to be found. Traces and hundredths and less of anything that anyone at all things could even be possibly harmful to anyone.

We’re now seeing a version of much the same story popping up in the US. Someone went and tested some cereals, a place likely to have such traces, and glory be they found them. Much the same tactic, trace traces being found, announcements that this or that favourite food is contaminated, the advice being that all should consume organic instead. It would not surprise in the slightest to find some coordination behind this now, would it?

EWG has since done two rounds of independent testing on foods that contain oats. Results from the first round of testing on granola, instant oats, snack bars, oat breakfast cereals and whole oats — some conventional, some organic — found that the many of the products had levels of glyphosate residue that were over EWG’s health benchmark for safety. (Within that link above, you’ll find a more nuanced explanation of how EWG set its recommended levels, based on the work of California and the EPA.)

Of the 45 conventional foods tested, 43 of them tested positive for glyphosate residue and 31 of them exceeded EWG’s health benchmark. Of the 16 organic products tested, five of them tested positive for glyphosate residue, but none of them exceeded EWG’s benchmark.

The advertising there is difficult to miss, isn’t it? Buy organic oats now!

It’s the earlier part that’s much the most interesting though:

In 2008, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set a legal limit for glyphosate on oats at 30 parts per million, and more recently, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) set a health benchmark for safety, at 160 parts per billion.

The EPA is part of the American government and it’s not known for being underzealous in its identification of possible pollutant injuries. Quite the opposite in fact, it’s very strict indeed. The EWG on the other hand is a private pressure group of cranks just making stuff up as they see fit. So, the actual claim here is that things grown using glyphosate contain trace amounts of it. Trace amounts the government’s people have said are so trace and trivial that we can all go back to sleep. Advocates for organic food, on the other hand, have made up their own standards and now claim that organic food meets the made up and invented standards and other food does not.

Hey, big surprise, right?

Maybe we should all just go back to sleep?

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Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

It’s glyphosate (no ‘co’).

Quentin Vole
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Quentin Vole

Thanks for fixing, Tim, but there’s only one ‘ph’ as well :). If I were a pedantic chemist (only one of those two terms is true), I’d point out that glyphosate is a phosphonate, not a phosphate.

jgh
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jgh

To put more clearly, 30 parts per million is almost untracably fine, but pressure group says 0.16 parts per million will kill you. The sheer *balls* at throwing in more than two whole orders of magnitude. What sample size did they have to process to find that, a whole field?

Southerner
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Southerner

If you eat two fields of oats a day you’re going to die… but not from glyphosate.