This is the line up of the brand that is currently coming under fire for having a highly toxic herbicide present in their products. According to a recent report by the Organic Consumer’s Association, Ben and Jerry’s is selling certain flavors of ice cream that present with traces of glyphosate, an herbicide linked to cancer. Not just something that is sprayed on vegetables, glyphosate is something that is also used to treat cow’s feed, thus getting into a diet that will eventually produce milk used for various ice creams, etc.
Known for its environmental awareness, it does come as a surprise that Ben and Jerry’s would have this chemical present in their ice cream, but it may a reason for the brand, with associations to Unilever, to go fully organic. In a direct quote from the Organic Consumer’s Assosication, the independently run tests came up with this result:
“The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today reported that 10 of 11 samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive for glyphosate, the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, or AMPA, glyphosate’s main metabolite, or both.
OCA is calling for Ben & Jerry’s, a Vermont-based subsidiary of Unilever, to begin an immediate transition to using only organic ingredients, including milk, in its products or face a national and international consumer boycott.
The groups also call on natural and organic food stores to drop the Ben & Jerry’s brand unless the company commits to transitioning to organic.
OCA International Director Ronnie Cummins said: “Ben & Jerry’s falsely advertises its products as ‘natural’ and its brand as ‘sustainable’ and ‘socially responsible.’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Ben & Jerry’s profits are built on the back of an industrial dairy system that poisons the environment and produces pesticide-contaminated food products. Ben & Jerry’s sales, driven in large part by its deceitful claims, damage the organic industry by cutting into the sales of authentic natural, grass-fed and organic producers.”
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.”
Possibly harsh words, yes, but it’s very important to be aware that even brands that we have come to trust and love can make mistakes when sourcing their ingredients. Below you will find a list that explains the ten flavors to avoid. The eleventh flavor, Cherry Garcia, was not indicated as presenting with levels of the herbicide that would lead to toxicity (although those levels are also contested.)
Vanilla (2 flavors tested)
Peanut Butter Cup
Peanut Buttah Cookie Core
The Tonight Dough
Chocolate Fudge Brownie
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
If you feel as if you have been exposed to glyphosate in large amounts, by either consuming the above products, or through other means, it’s important to reach out to your primary care physician. You can find a list of symptoms here. Some of them include:
Blood in urine
It is still unclear if glyphosate is something that will eventually be banned or not, but it would suit us all well to be aware of what’s going on with what we’re eating. Becoming more educated in what is going into your body will help dictate whether or not you can maintain a healthy lifestyle. Do your research and decide for yourself what is best for your health.