If you're someone who enjoys the occasional glass of wine or pint of beer, you may be putting your health at risk. According to a report by U.S. PIRG, 19 out of 20 brands they tested contained traces of the same ingredient used in the weed killer Roundup. The ingredient in focus is glyphosate - a pesticide and herbicide which has been suspected by the World Health Organization and the state of California as a probable carcinogen.
U.S. PIRG is a non-profit organization committed to keeping powerful interests in check and researching issues that affect the public. In their most recent study, they tested a total of five wines and 15 beers. Some of the brands under investigation include familiar names like Budweiser, Coors, Miller Light, and Barefoot. Only one beverage, Peak Beer Organic IPA, did not contain detectable levels of glyphosate while Sutter Home Merlot contained the highest levels at 51.4 ppb.
Say Goodbye to Happy Hour? Not Exactly.
While the report has received mixed comments from several of the brands, the jury is still out on whether people should put away the wine glasses. To put things in perspective, USA Today received this quote from a Wine Institute spokesperson, “An adult would have to drink more than 140 glasses of wine a day containing the highest glyphosate level measured just to reach the level that California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has identified as 'No Significant Risk Level.”
Owner of Monsanto and Bayer toxicologist, William Reeves, also stated that an adult would have to consume “more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping” to even approach the U.S. EPA’s glyphosate exposure limit.
Of course, I suspect more studies need to be done to confirm PIRG's findings. Even after reading the full report, I'm not too worried as the levels of glyphosate they did find, still fall below federal limits. So for now, happy hour is spared.