Traces of glyphosate have been discovered in pots of ice cream from the American brand Ben&Jerry’s. This is available on the European market. The problem was indicated on Tuesday by the MEP, Bart Staes (from the Flemish green party Groen), during a press conference at the European Parliament.
Glyphosate is a herbicide substance which is extremely widespread but is subject to controversy, owing to its carcinogenic nature. In particular, it constitutes the main ingredient of the weedkiller Roundup. This product has been produced and marketed by the American multi-national, Monsanto for several years.
The study, which was produced by a team of scientists in France, the Netherlands, Germany and the United Kingdom, enabled the detection of glyphosate residues in 12 of the 14 products analysed.
“The levels observed, going up to 1.228 nanograms per millilitre, raise health concerns.” This was stated by Dr John Fagan, who conducted the tests for the Health Research Institute (“HRI”).
The MEP, Bart Staes, considered that the discovery of residues in Ben&Jerry’s ice cream was “further proof of our dysfunctional” food chain. He recalled, in passing, that traces of glyphosate had previously been found in several beers last year.
Moreover, the ecologist indicated having received, shortly before the press conference, an e-mail from the Unilever group – of which Ben&Jerry’s is part. The e-mail contained confirmation from Unilever that, by 2020, it will no longer use ingredients coming from cultivation in which glyphosate is used.