Synthetic chemicals are practically impossible to escape. They’re lurking in lipstick, canned soup, and cleaning products. Even in the furniture in your home and the paint on your walls. As organic food activists are quick to point out, they’re often in conventionally grown crops, too. And now, according to new data, they’re definitely in our bodies.
A report released today on lab tests carried out at the University of California, San Francisco revealed that 93 percent of the 131 people tested had residue of glyphosate—an industrial weed killer—in their urine. Scary, especially considering that, last year, the International Agency for Research on Cancer labeled glyphosate a “probable carcinogen.”
The test was organized by the Detox Project, a group that allows the public to have samples of their urine or water tested for a fee, and commissioned by Organic Consumers Association.
Though this data is certainly startling, the researchers involved noted a few limitations. For one thing, the small number of people willing to pay for personal glyphosate testing were likely not representative of the United States. Not to mention, scientists still don’t know much about the potential side effects of glyphosate.
They also don’t yet know if it’s possible to lower glyphosate levels in the body. But you can err on the safe side and make an effort to prevent further contamination by choosing certified organic foods. Organic crops can’t be genetically modified—or sprayed with synthetic pesticides and herbicides.
Photo credit: Dauvit Alexander via Flickr