New Unilever Announcement Falls Short of Groups’ Demand
October 10, 2017
European Parliament : Michele Rivasi, firstname.lastname@example.org, +33 (0)6 80 65 52 37
US: Katherine Paul, OCA, email@example.com, +1 207-653-3090
UK: Pat Thomas, Beyond GM, firstname.lastname@example.org, 44 (0) 795 023 1240
BRUSSELS –The European Parliament today hosted a coalition of EU and US organizations, led by the US-based Organic Consumers Association (OCA), which announced that samples of Unilever-owned Ben & Jerry’s ice cream from France, Netherlands, Germany and the UK contained potentially harmful levels of glyphosate, the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.
Glyphosate was detected in 12 of the 14 samples of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream from across Europe, at levels that raise health concerns (as high as 1.228 ng/mL), according to Dr. John Fagan, chief scientist for HRI Labs, which conducted the tests. Flavors included: Half-Baked, Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Cup (NL); Chocolate Fudge, Cookie Dough (FR); Half-Baked, Peanut Butter Cup, Chocolate Fudge (UK): and Cookie Dough, Toppea, Peanut Butter Cup, Karamel Sutra, Home Sweet Honey Comb and Cinnamon Buns (DE).”
Speaking at today’s press conference are: Michele Rivasi, Member of the European Parliament for the Greens/EFA; Philippe Lamberts, Member of the European Parliament and co-président of the Greens/EFA group; Gilles-Eric Séralini, Ph.D., professor, University of Caen, and author of numerous scientific studies exposing the health risks of glyphosate; Dr. John Fagan, chief scientist, HRI Labs; Pat Thomas, Pat Thomas, Founder/Director Beyond GM UK; and Katherine Paul, associate director, OCA.
The coalition calling on Ben & Jerry’s to go organic includes: Beyond GM (UK); Sustainable Pulse (Bulgaria); the Monsanto Tribunal (NL); and the Soil Association (UK). About 150 organizations and businesses worldwide have signed a letter to Ben & Jerry’s, asking the company to go organic.
In a statement, Ronnie Cummins, OCA international director, said: “Ben & Jerry’s announcement yesterday that it will source 6% organic dairy is positive news. But that leaves 94% of its supply coming from conventional dairies which use massive amounts of GMO animal feed. We will push for a transition to 100% organic, backed by a legally binding contract.”
Rivasi said: “Glyphosate is everywhere in our food, poisoning our bodies, but our minds are also intoxicated with falsified science ghostwritten by Monsanto. Evidence recently published in the Monsanto Papers exposes Monsanto’s attempts to suppress the research of Professor Séralini that demonstrates the toxicity and tumorigenicity of their most profitable product, Roundup. EFSA failed to produce an independent assessment of the full range toxicity of the Glyphosate. Based on this and other research evidence, Europe should immediately ban Roundup, and all uses of glyphosate in toxic formulations.”
Séralini said: “Research, both from France and the UK indicates that the levels of glyphosate present in most samples of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream likely pose a health risk. The regulatory levels of glyphosate set in the EU and US are based on outmoded toxicology models that fail to account for the properties of hormone disrupters like glyphosate-based herbicides, which can damage health at even very low levels.”
Thomas said: “These test results confirm the grim reality that other UK- and EU-wide testing has shown: almost no food is free from pesticide contamination. Ben & Jerry’s says it’s on a mission to make the world a better place. Inasmuch as ice cream can be used to do that, moving to a fully organic system, from farm to spoon, is the only way to ensure a product free from traces of endocrine-disrupting and carcinogenic glyphosate.”
In July, the New York Times reported on contaminated samples of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream in the U.S.
Available by request: Certificates of Analysis, Statement of Relevance, Description of Analytical Method
The Organic Consumers Association is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public-interest organization advocating on behalf of more than two million U.S. consumers for health, justice, and regeneration. Visit www.organicconsumers.org, @OCA_Press.