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Glyphosate, the Roundup Chemical, Found in California Wines

LeeAnn Riddle   |  February 4, 2019   |  

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup that was recently blamed for causing a school groundskeeper’s terminal cancer, has now been found in a sampling of California wines. Glyphosate is used in almost 700 herbicides, but Roundup is by far the most widely used.

Roundup chemical found in California winesRoundup was introduced in 1974 and has since been used plentifully on crops around the world, including California. Approximately 1.8 million tons of Roundup herbicide have been applied to U.S. fields, and two-thirds of that volume has been sprayed in the last 10 years.  Traces of the herbicide have been found in cereals, granola bars, instant oats and other breakfast foods.  Numerous wine producers in California also use the weed killer on their vineyards.  This makes the presence of glyphosate in wine conceivable.

Microbe Infotech Lab, located in St. Louis, Missouri, tested a sampling of 10 different wines from different makers in California’s North Coast.  California’s North Coast is the premium wine-growing region that includes Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties.  The brands tested included Gallo, Beringer, Mondavi, Barefoot, and Sutter Home.  These wines were tested in September 2015 and February 2016.

Glyphosate was found in all 10 samples, including wine labeled as organic.  The highest amount of herbicide found by far – 28 times more than other samples at 18.74 parts per billion (ppb) – was found in a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from a conventional vineyard.

How Does Glyphosate End Up in Wine?

Glyphosate is not sprayed directly onto grapes in vineyards (it would kill the vines). Instead, it is usually sprayed on the ground on either side of the grape vines.  Roundup may be absorbed through the roots and bark of the vines.  It is then translocated into the leaves and grapes.  The organic vineyards were probably contaminated when glyphosate drifted over onto the organic and biodynamic vineyards from conventional vineyards nearby.  Moreover, the contaminate may be left in the soil after a conventional farm is converted to an organic farm.  Glyphosate can remain in the soil for up to 20 years.

How to Avoid Glyphosate in Your Food

The best bet for minimizing the health risks of herbicide and pesticide exposure is to avoid them by eating organic when you can and using a good water filtration system.  Eating locally produced organic food will support your family’s health and protect the environment from harmful chemical pollutants and the inadvertent spread of genetically engineered seeds and chemical-resistant weeds and pests.

 

If you or a family has a history of using Roundup and developed cancer, call 800-525-7111 for a free consultation.  We are currently reviewing these cases to determine if we can help.