Glyphosate Found in Some Cereals: Alarmists Generate Useless Panic

Another bogus scaremongering study by anti-technology activists


Dreamstime: Rene Van Den Berg

Environmental alarmists are worse than pit bulls with a bone when it comes to refusing to let go of any random myth or misinformation they happen to pick up. Sometimes it appears that their chief targets are any modern technologies that are particularly useful to humanity. Last month, a really stupid Moms Across America study reported that it had found parts per billion (ppb) of the herbicide glyphosate in organic wines. Basically, the chemophobes found the presence of glyphosate that was between 10 and 3,000 times lower than the EPA's safety threshold. And never mind that drinking alcohol is a considerable risk factor for developing many kinds of cancer.

So a new set of environmentalist pit bulls calling themselves the Alliance for Natural Health USA is reporting that they tested a bunch of commercial brands of cereals, some eggs, bagels, and coffee creamers. What horrors did they uncover? Take corn flakes, for example. AHA-USA reports that the glyphosate was detected at less 75 ppb which even they acknowledge is 66 times lower than the EPA's safety threshold of 5,000 ppb. Their highest detection was for an instant oat meal which was 22 times lower than the EPA's safety threshold for oats 30,000 ppb. The AHA-USA did manage to find organic cage free eggs in which glyphosate residues were double to triple the EPA's very low threshold of 50 ppb.

The AHA-USA then cites rather amazingly simplistic claims by some researchers that "epidemiological evidence supports strong temporal correlations between glyphosate usage on crops and a multitude of cancers that are reaching epidemic proportions, including breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, kidney cancer, thyroid cancer, liver cancer, bladder cancer and myeloid leukaemia." Damned near anything can be temporally correlated, e.g., the increase in glyphosate spraying and the increase in global life expectancy.

As it happens, U.S. breast cancer incidence rates have been slowly drifting downward since the 1990s. Pancreatic cancer incidence has been rising slowly since the 1990s and is likely associated with the increasing prevalence of diabetes and obesity in the U.S. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS) the rate of new kidney cancers rose during 1990s, but seems to have leveled off now. The ACS adds, "Part of this rise was probably due to the use of newer imaging tests such as CT scans, which picked up some cancers that might never have been found otherwise."

A 2014 study in JAMA Otolarynogology reported that almost all of the recent increase in thyroid cancer incidence "is not an epidemic of disease but rather an epidemic of diagnosis." The increase in iiver cancer is related to chronic infections with hepatitis viruses and the rise in fatty liver disease associated with obesity and type 2 diabetes. The ACS notes that bladder cancer rates have been falling. Acute myeloid leukemia rates remained essentially flat until 2007 when they began to rise from 3.6 per 100,000 Americans to 4.3 per 100,000 as of 2013. It should, however, be noted that a 2016 systematic review of studies found no causal relationship between glyphosate exposure and the risk of getting leukemia. Similarly a 2015 review of 14 rodent studies reported "no evidence of a carcinogenic effect related to glyphosate treatment."

Nevertheless, they know that all they have to do is bring out the C-word and wait for credulous citizens to panic. This "new study" will be linked to the Facebook pages of millions of perpetually alarmed people undermining science and modern agriculture. Shame on you, Alliance for Natural Health!