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Toxic Weed Killer Found in Breast Milk, Infant Formula

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For Immediate Release: 
Friday, April 10, 2015

Washington, D.C. – The widely-used herbicide glyphosate, now classified as probably carcinogenic to humans by the World Health Organization, has been found in a number of items, including honey, breast milk and infant formula, according to media reports.

“When chemical agriculture blankets millions of acres of genetically engineered corn and soybean fields with hundreds of millions of pounds of glyphosate, it’s not a surprise babies are now consuming Monsanto’s signature chemical with breast milk and infant formula,” said Ken Cook, president and co-founder of EWG. “The primary reason millions of Americans, including infants, are now exposed to this probable carcinogen is due to the explosion of genetically engineered crops that now dominate farmland across the U.S.”

“Through their purchasing power, the American consumer is fueling this surge in GMO crops and the glyphosate exposure that comes with it,” added Cook. “It’s time the federal FDA require foods made with GMOs be labeled as such so the public can decide for themselves if they want to send their dollars to the biotech industry that cares more about profits than public health.”

According to a report by Carey Gillam of Reuters, laboratories are receiving a surge in requests to have everything from food to urine samples tested for glyphosate in the aftermath of last month’s announcement by the WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer that the weed-killer is “probably carcinogenic to humans.”

"The requests keep coming in," Ben Winkler, laboratory manager at Microbe Inotech Laboratories in St. Louis, told Gillam. Winkler said his lab is getting several testing requests a week since the announcement by the WHO, up from three to four requests a year for glyphosate, Gillam reported.

“People should be concerned,” Cook said. “If a few lab tests have found glyphosate in honey, soy sauce, baby formula and breast milk, it’s a fair bet the herbicide is in a number of other products most Americans are consuming or in contact with daily.”

According to press reports, food companies have submitted a number of products, including breakfast cereals, for testing.  Many mainstream cold cereals are made with genetically engineered ingredients, including GMO corn where the bulk of glyphosate is used.

“The food companies should come clean with their test results and let customers know if they’ve been buying and eating products that contain glyphosate,” said Cook. “People should be aware if the food they and their families are eating include a pesticide so strongly linked to cancer.”