PHILADELPHIA (CBS)—A chemical that’s used to kill weeds has been allegedly found in some in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) reports that 10 of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
The results originated from independent lab testing of these flavors: Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter Cookie, Vanilla (2 samples), Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, The Tonight Dough, Half Baked, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Americone Dream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate and/or AMPA.
OCA says they are calling on the ice cream giant to begin an immediate transition to using only organic ingredients, including milk, in its products or face a national and international consumer boycott.
“Ben & Jerry’s falsely advertises its products as ‘natural’ and its brand as ‘sustainable’ and ‘socially responsible.’ Nothing could be further from the truth,” said OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins.
In March 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen.” On July 7, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) added glyphosate to its Prop 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
A report published January 2017, in the journal Nature, linked low doses of glyphosate to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, suggesting that there is no “safe” level of glyphosate despite otherwise indicated by regulatory agencies.
Ben & Jerry’s tells The Times it is working to move away from genetically modified organisms.
“We’re working to transition away from G.M.O., as far away as we can get,” Mr. Michalak said. “But then these tests come along, and we need to better understand where the glyphosate they’re finding is coming from. Maybe it’s from something that’s not even in our supply chain, and so we’re missing it.”
The NYT says Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie showed the highest levels of glyphosate, with 1.74 parts per billion, and glyphosate’s byproduct aminomethylphosphonic acid registering 0.91 parts per billion.
John Fagan, the chief executive of the Health Research Institute Laboratories, which did the testing for the Organic Consumers Association, calculated that a 75-pound child would have to consume 145,000 eight-ounce servings a day of Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream to hit the limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency.
An adult would have to eat 290,000 servings to hit the agency’s cutoff, Dr. Fagan adds.