If you’re a fan of the classic Ben & Jerry’s ice cream line, you’re in for a treat. A survey conducted by the Health Research Institute (HRI) laboratories found traces of glyphosate in 13 out of the 14 tubs of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sampled in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
Even if you’re unfamiliar with glyphosate, odds are that you’ve probably consumed it before. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto‘s herbicide RoundUp, and it’s sprayed on not only GM crops, but many regular crops as well.
It’s not uncommon to find traces of glyphosate on non-organic foods now, which is a huge issue due to the risks it poses to both the environment and human health. RoundUp threatens the wildlife living around the crops and their surrounding environment, and the herbicide has helped Monsanto monopolize the North American farming industry, threatening local farmers’ livelihoods.
Over the years, many studies have been published proving that glyphosate can cause cancer, miscarriages, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, and more. Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a research scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), explained that glyphosate is possibly “the most important factor in the development of multiple chronic diseases and conditions that have become prevalent in Westernized societies.”
Another study suggested that glyphosate can cause celiac disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, kidney failure, miscarriages, infertility, birth defects, obesity, autism, depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and cancer.
So, if you’re eating Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, you could be getting a healthy dose of glyphosate. I understand that many people may argue that the health risks associated with ice cream aren’t necessarily “news,” but these less-than-healthy ingredients like sugar and dairy are at least listed on the back of the tub.
What these labels don’t include are the pesticides that could be in the ice cream. There’s no warning label, and many people don’t realize that in addition to all of that sugar and dairy, they could also be consuming harsh chemicals. You may be paying $5 per tub, but the true cost is much higher than the dollar value.
Glyphosate Found in Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream
The survey conducted by the Health Research Institute (HRI) laboratories looked at multiple flavours of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sold in the UK, France, Germany, and the Netherlands. Some of the flavours that were found to contain glyphosate include:
- Peanut Butter Cup
- Half Baked
- Chocolate Fudge Brownie
- Karamel Sutra Core
- Cinnamon Buns
- Cookie Dough
- Topped Chocolate Caramel Cookie Dough
It’s not just the ice cream sold in Europe that Ben & Jerry’s lovers need to be concerned about. Similar levels of glyphosate have been found in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream sold in the U.S. as well. Although some scientists deem some of these amounts “likely safe,” it’s important to note that glyphosate is considered a carcinogen in many parts of the world and there still needs to be far more testing performed to determine the safety (or lack thereof) of consuming it.
Laura Peterson, a spokesperson for Ben & Jerry’s, noted that the company was “disappointed, but not totally surprised” to hear about the team’s findings.
“Glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in agriculture and is everywhere – from mainstream food, to natural and organic food, and even rainwater – and that’s the issue,” Peterson explained.
The dangers associated with glyphosate are no secret. The organization quickly addressed this, and is by no means trying to refute these proven claims. If you’re unfamiliar with the dangers associated with consuming glyphosate, check out our numerous CE articles on the subject here.
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Instead, the company’s response was to remove glyphosate from its products and stop sourcing ingredients that could possibly contain it. Although the transition may not happen this year, this is nevertheless a big victory!
Of course, there’s still a long way to go until Ben & Jerry’s could even be considered relatively healthy. Sure, they launched a vegan line, but it’s still ridden with the same chemicals and sugar levels as their regular ice creams. Ronnie Cummins, the International Director of the Organic Consumers Association, which commissioned the new survey, said:
Although we are happy to hear that consumer pressure has forced Unilever/Ben and Jerry’s to declare that some of their non-dairy ingredients will no longer be sprayed with RoundUp … the campaign to force Ben and Jerry’s to begin the transition to 100% organic will continue until the company signs a legally binding agreement and timeline to make this global transition over the next three to five years.
This switch will likely occur next year, when the company is set to launch an “organic dairy” line. Keep in mind that this does not mean that all products will be organic, and that this does not make ice cream healthy whatsoever. But again, it’s still a baby step toward a healthier population!
I’d like to mention that there are tons of awesome dairy-free organic brands of ice cream that are available! My favourites are usually made with either a coconut milk base, a banana base, or a cashew nut base, and they’re equally as delicious as conventional ice cream, without many of the added health risks.
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