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Traces of herbicide found in Ben and Jerry’s ice cream

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Ben & Jerry’s ice cream tested positive in 10 of 11 samples for glyphosate, a key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, according to the Organic Consumers Association.

However, the amounts found were at levels far below the ceiling set by the Environmental Protection Agency, according to the New York Times, which reported on the study Tuesday.

The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies glyphosate as a “probable carcinogen,” according to the Organic Consumers Association.

A growing number of foods typically found in American kitchens test positive for glyphosate.

“But few brands on that list are as startling as the latest: Ben & Jerry’s, the Vermont ice cream company known for its family-friendly image and environmental advocacy,” the New York Times article stated.

A Ben & Jerry’s official told the Times that as far as the Organic Consumers Association’s tests go, the company needed “to better understand where the glyphosate they’re finding is coming from.”

Ben & Jerry’s works to ensure that all its ingredients do not include genetically modified organisms, according to Rob Michalak, global director of social mission for the company.

Michalak said in the Times article that none of its plant-based ingredients comes from genetically engineered crops, where glyphosate is used in production.

He added that the company is trying to figure out a cost-effective way for the dairy farms that supply its milk to use non-GMO feed.

A lab tested the following flavors for the Organic Consumers Association: Peanut Butter Cup, Peanut Butter Cookie, Vanilla (two samples), Cherry Garcia, Phish Food, The Tonight Dough, Half Baked, Chocolate Fudge Brownie, Americone Dream and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Cherry Garcia was the only flavor that tested negative for glyphosate.

The nonprofit, consumer advocate group is calling for Ben & Jerry’s to move immediately to using only organic ingredients, including milk. The group is threatening a national and international consumer boycott, according to their press release issued Tuesday .

Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-226-4691, mthomas@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MaThomas_Trib.

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