two beer glasses

Carcinogen Glyphosate Found In Beer and Wine

As more lawsuits claiming a link between Roundup and cancer move forward, a new study claims the main ingredient found in the weed killer, glyphosate, is showing up in organic beer and wine.

While unwanted weeds and vegetation sprout underneath his grapevines, Livermore grape grower and winemaker Aaron Taylor notices that the soil remains brown and bare on the neighboring properties. Taylor explains that this is because weed killers have an effect that are neither temporary nor seasonal. In fact, popular herbicides, such as Roundup, can linger in soil for months—even years—after being applied. One can only help but wonder what the long-term effect is on our ecosystem and on us. 

Roundup’s active ingredient is glyphosate, a chemical that many experts believe causes cancer and other illnesses in humans. Although the Environmental Protection Agency does not classify glyphosate as carcinogenic, the World Health Organization does. Yet, since Monsanto first brought it to market in the 1970s, U.S. farmers have been using glyphosate more and more. In the U.S., farmers use more than 250 million pounds of poison each year. Just in 2017, California’s wine industry alone applied about 300,000 pounds of glyphosate-based herbicides.

So, how can glyphosate not contaminate our food—or more importantly, our wine—supply? Unfortunately, research has shown that glyphosate can linger in almost every corner of our environment, including our food, soil, water, and urine. To make matters worse, a study released early this year found glyphosate in 19 of 20 beer and wine samples tested, including some made from organically farmed ingredients. Sutter Home Merlot had the highest level of glyphosate of all 20 brands, at 51 parts per billion (ppb). Beringer Estates Moscato and Barefoot Cabernet Sauvignon had slightly smaller quantities of the chemical. Corona, Miller Lite and Budweiser had between 25 and 30 ppb of glyphosate. while Guinness and Heineken contained about 20 ppb. Beverages from Stella Artois and Sam Adams also had trace amounts of the chemical.

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