A Controversial Chemical Has Been Found in Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream

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Indian Food and Beverages News

July 31, 2017

Traces of a controversial chemical have been found in several varieties of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in the popular Roundup brand weed killer, and The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) confirmed yesterday that it was found in 10 out of 11 Ben & Jerry’s flavor samples.

The flavors that tested positive were as follows: Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter Cookie, Vanilla (two flavors), Phish Food, The Tonight Dough, Half Baked, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Americone Dream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. The only flavor that tested negative? Old reliable Cherry Garcia.

But don’t start panic-purging your refrigerator just yet—the levels of glyphosate found were way below the safe ceiling as set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Per The New York Times, an average adult would have to eat 290,000 servings of ice cream a day to hit the unsafe zone.

So how concerned do you need to be? The OCA is one of several consumer groups that has been working to raise awareness of glyphosate in food recently, after some research linked it to an increased risk of disease. An agency of the World Health Organization concluded earlier this year that the chemical “probably” could cause cancer, contradicting earlier studies which had declared glyphosate to be safe.

Glyphosate is often used in genetically engineered crops like corn and soy, and according to a Ben & Jerry’s spokesman the company is working to ensure that its ingredients do not come from GMO sources. None of its plant-based ingredients come from genetically engineered crops, and the company is reportedly working on a cost-effective way for its dairy suppliers to use non-GMO feed.

“We’re working to transition away from GMO as far away as we can get,” said Rob Michalak, global director of social mission at Ben & Jerry’s. “But then these tests come along, and we need to better understand where the glyphosate they’re finding is coming from. Maybe it’s from something that’s not even in our supply chain, and so we’re missing it.”

So while the occasional bowl of Ben & Jerry’s probably isn’t going to harm you, maybe stick to Cherry Garcia if you’re nervous.

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