Letter to the Guardian - Glyphosate in Ben and Jerry's


Your article “Ben & Jerry’s to launch glyphosate-free ice-cream after tests find traces of weedkiller” includes an inaccurate example and fails to put the claims into context for consumers.

The article states that glyphosate was detected at a level of 1 – 1.2 parts per billion. This is equivalent to one micro gramme (one millionth of a gramme) per litre. Contrary to a quote in the article, at this level a 35 Kg child would need to eat 100 times their own body weight, or 3,500 KG of ice-cream each day, before reaching a level that would pose any risk to their health from glyphosate.

Research conducted in Italy, published in 2017 found heavy metal contamination in up to 58% of ice cream samples tested, with lead detected at levels almost three times higher than the EU limit for milk products. In comparison the level at which the article claims to have detected glyphosate is around 30,000 times lower than EU safety limits.

Glyphosate is a product that supports safe, environmentally friendly farming, and is used in many agri-environmental schemes to protect wildlife. It has been approved by regulators across the globe - organisations that rightly take their duty to protect public health very seriously.

Yours Sincerely

Sarah Mukherjee

Chief Executive

Crop Protection Association

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