I came across the article Monsanto Is Scrambling To Bury This Breaking Story – Don’t Let This Go Unshared! claiming there was an unsafe level of glyphosate in a number of foods.

The key claim seems to be that 0.1 pbb is unsafe and larger amounts have been detected in a wide variety of foods:

A FDA-registered food safety laboratory tested iconic American food for residues of the weed killer glyphosate (aka Monsanto’s Roundup) and found ALARMING amounts.

Just to give you an idea of how outrageous these amounts are, independent research shows that probable harm to human health begins at really low levels of exposure – at only 0.1 ppb of glyphosate. Many foods were found to have over 1,000 times this amount! Well above what regulators throughout the world consider “safe”.

That quote references a report by FoodDemocracynow.org where they took the below graphic from:

Can these claims be verified?

Enter image description here

  • 5
    Glyphosate, glyphosate, glyphosate... glyphosate. Please, find me something with 0.0 ppb of glyphosate (if you can).
    – EKons
    Nov 18, 2016 at 12:45
  • 16
    Man, really tells you something when they have to go to into the parts per billion to get an alarming number.
    – 0xDBFB7
    Nov 18, 2016 at 14:44
  • 4
    The "iconic insert-your-country-here" is a red flag right at the start.
    – Agent_L
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:05
  • 8
    'foodbabe.com' is also a red flag
    – cat
    Nov 18, 2016 at 15:50
  • 6
    Another red flag: If the headline of an article is so obviously biased to one side its probably filled with lots of half truths at best. Nov 18, 2016 at 16:16

2 Answers 2


According to the document Joint FAO/WHO evaluation (2004 Part II—Toxicology) with information on the acceptable daily intake of glyphosate (ADI):

(listed here)

The acceptable daily intake for glyphosate is 0–0.3 mg/kg body weight. This was established based on no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) of 31 mg/kg bw per day.

That means that if you weighed 80 kg, it would be acceptable for you to consume 24 mg of glyphosate and the no-observed-adverse-effect level for you would be 2480 mg.

Now a person probably consumes about 80 g of Cheerios in a single sitting. At a concentration of 1125 ppb, that 80 g bowl would contain 0.09 mg of glyphosate.

There is no risk whatsoever that you will cross over the acceptable daily intake for glyphosate from consuming Cheerios.

The document goes on to discuss AMPA and states that:

In 1997, the Joint Meeting evaluated aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), the major metabolite of glyphosate, and concluded that AMPA was of no greater toxicological concern than its parent compound. A group ADI of 0–0.3 mg/kg bw was established for AMPA alone or in combination with glyphosate.

  • 48
    Or in other words: you need to eat 2204Kg of Cheerios a day to get to the "dangerous" threshold. Nov 18, 2016 at 15:04
  • 36
    And, if you were to attempt to do so, you would reach several other dangerous thresholds first: wolframalpha.com/input/?i=2204Kg+of+Cheerios
    – ymbirtt
    Nov 18, 2016 at 17:09
  • 11
    @ymbirtt what do you mean, dangerous – 3~4 000 000% daily intake in folate, iron and vitamin B12: that's got to be healthy! And no cholestorol! Nov 18, 2016 at 17:45
  • 2
    @AnderBiguri is that a challenge?
    – tuskiomi
    Nov 21, 2016 at 17:38
  • Having read a long time ago the symptoms of hypervitaminosis A, sounds like glyphosate would be last of my concerns. books.google.com/…
    – RomaH
    Nov 21, 2016 at 21:52

An analysis by Snopes on this claim found it to contain a mixture of both truth and undetermined information.

What is true about this claim referring to Snopes is that studies performed on lab animals show glyphosate may be carcinogenic but FDA does not list glyphosate as a human carcinogen.

The bottom line is that there are plenty of studies suggesting potential harmful effects in humans based on animal studies. Some of these are more compelling than others, but ultimately there remains a disagreement on what levels would constitute harm to humans, and that disagreement has encompassed a wide range of scientists, activists, and the regulatory agencies of different nations at one time or another. Source: ConfoundUp

What is undetermined about this claim is that the test results published was not through research or peer reviewed analysis.

While there is no evidence to suggest the FDA shut down its residue program due to complaints from Monsanto, it is fair to question Monsanto’s influence over that agency. Similarly, while there is also no explicit reason to doubt the results of the study presented by Food Democracy Now and the Detox Project, it does need to be acknowledged they too have an agenda. Source: ConfoundUp

  • 1
    The reason glyphosate is deemed largely harmless to humans is the mechanism of its action (blocking the EPSP synthase enzyme molecule in the shikimic acid pathway). This pathway does not exist in humans so the industry insists it's harmless. This pathway does however exist in the gut flora of humans and the effect of glyphosate on these organisms is yet to be fully explored.
    – Andy Gee
    Nov 23, 2016 at 3:42

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