Glyphosate Nation: Troublesome Roundup Herbicide Found Throughout U.S. Food Supply — Organics Too

glyphosate organics

By Carolanne Wright

Contributing Writer for Wake Up World

With an estimated 80% of the conventional food supply in the U.S. contaminated with glyphosate residues, those concerned with health are urged to adopt an 100% organic diet to avoid the toxin – which is sold commercially as Monsanto’s Roundup. So it’s with great consternation that organic supporters are discovering their food choices may not be so safe after all.

With growing evidence that not only human health but pollinators too are being adversely affected by Roundup and glyphosate contamination, there is ever increasing support for the move to ban this herbicide.

A Menace Without Boundaries

A study by Abraxis LLC, a Warminster, Pennsylvania-based diagnostics company, and Boston University in the United States, found glyphosate residues above the limit of quantification (LOQ) in both conventional products and organic. The team tested samples of honey, pancake and corn syrup, soy sauce, soy milk and tofu that had been purchased in Philadelphia, U.S. The method LOQ was set at 15 ppb.

Out of the 69 honey samples evaluated, forty-one (59%) exhibited glyphosate residues above the established LOQ — ranging between 17 and 163 ppb, with an average mean of 64 ppb. What’s more, five of the eleven organic honey samples (45%) tested positive for glyphosate with a range of 26 to 93 ppb and a mean of 50ppb.

According to the researchers, “Glyphosate residues above the limit of quantification were not found in pancake and corn syrup, soy milk, and tofu,” but were found in conventional soy sauce — ten of the twenty-eight samples tested positive (36%), with a range between 88 and 564 ppb and a mean of 242 ppb.

Keep in mind the team did not record glyphosate residues below the LOQ, which means many of the products tested could contain the toxin just below the threshold.

Moreover, Health Impact News discovered that many USDA certified grains are contaminated with glyphosate. Independent testing, sponsored by Tropical Traditions, revealed that organic grains, largely sourced from Montana and Idaho, contained glyphosate residue ranging from 0.03 to 0.06 mg/kg, which is just slightly lower than the conventional grains evaluated. Glyphosate positive grains included organic wheat, barley, oats, spelt and einkorn. The organic grains which tested clean were rye and millet, as well as wheat grown from small-scale farmers in Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, glyphosate doesn’t just stay within the boundary of conventional and GMO crops — it spreads, as documented in this report — contaminating everything, including organics.

According to the USDA National Organic Program:

“Although most EPA-registered pesticides are prohibited in organic production, there can be inadvertent or indirect contact from neighboring conventional farms or shared handling facilities. As long as the operator hasn’t directly applied prohibited pesticides and has documented efforts to minimize exposure to them, the USDA organic regulations allow for residues of prohibited pesticides at or below 5 percent of the EPA tolerance.”

Dr. Don Huber, Professor Emeritus of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, explains why non-GMO plants would have glyphosate residues:

“There are two reasons that a farmer wants to [use glyphosate on non-GMO crops]. It is for late season weed control in situations where he has patches of green weeds in the field that came up late. [This is commonly done with wheat and barley.] It is a little slower to harvest when weeds are present.

The other reason involves late season snow. In the northern region such as in the Dakotas, in certain parts of Montana, and in the Prairies of Canada, there is a very short growing season. If it snows on the crop at harvest then you may lose the crop, because you can’t get back into the field to do the harvest.

In these regions, 70% of the wheat and barley are desiccated with glyphosate before harvest. [This kills the plant so that it will wilt and dry]. Farmers don’t want to take a risk in losing their entire wheat and barley crop, so they will take a cut in yield and quality by using glyphosate a few weeks before harvest, and then harvest the crop early.”

Other crops which use the practice of desiccating with glyphosate include: soy beans, canola, field pea, flax, lentil and dry beans (chickpea, lupin and fava).

Raising the Acceptable Limit

Considering glyphosate has been linked with kidney disease, cancer, autism, ADHD, obesity, depression, celiac disease, both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis and a host of other ailments, it’s astonishing to learn the EPA actually increased the acceptable levels of the herbicide in 2013, despite enormous public outcry.

Humans aren’t the Only Casualties

It’s not only human health that’s suffering, but a vast majority of pollinators are being affected as well.

According to a study in the Journal of Experimental Biology:

“We found a reduced sensitivity to sucrose and learning performance for the groups chronically exposed to GLY [glyphosate] concentrations within the range of recommended doses. When olfactory PER conditioning was performed with sucrose reward with the same GLY concentrations (acute exposure), elemental learning and short-term memory retention decreased significantly compared with controls. Non-elemental associative learning was also impaired by an acute exposure to GLY traces. … Therefore, we speculate that successful forager bees could become a source of constant inflow of nectar with GLY traces that could then be distributed among nestmates, stored in the hive and have long-term negative consequences on colony performance.”

Likewise, Dr. Huber believes that the 880 million pounds of glyphosate used worldwide is contributing to colony collapse disorder. GreenMed Info summarizes Dr. Huber’s results of extensive research of the herbicide:

  • Glyphosate chelates minerals, lowers nutrients in plants: In CCD, Malnutrition is universally present.
  • Glyphosate acts like an antibiotic to beneficial bacteria: In CCD, loss of Lactobacillus and other critical beneficial bacteria for digestion is commonly observed.
  • Glyphosate is a neurotoxin: In CCD, honeybees experience neurological changes associated with disorientation.
  • Glyphosate causes endocrine hormone & immune disruption: In CCD, immunity and other hormonal variables are altered or suppressed.
  • Glyphosate stimulates fungal overgrowth: In CCD, the fungal pathogen Nosema increases.
  • Glyphosate persists and accumulates: High environmental exposure, including glyphosate residues present in honey, nectar and other plant products, make honeybees susceptible to continual toxic challenge — which is believed to be a primary underlying cause of CCD.

If you feel enough is enough, sign the MoveOn petition to ban the herbicide.

Article sources:

Previous articles by Carolanne Wright:

About the author:

Carolanne Wright

I’m Carolanne — a writer, chef, traveler and enthusiastic advocate for sustainability, organics and joyful living. It’s good to have you here. If you would like to learn more, connect with me at or visit


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