Don't Take Another Sip!
In 2015 the USDA reported orange juice was the most consumed fruit juice in the United States and oranges were second most consumed fruit overall, just slightly behind apples. The average person in America consumes 2.7 gallons of orange juice and three pounds of oranges per year. “100% Pure Orange Juice” is a common claim used by many juice brands that allow consumers to feel safe when serving it to their families on a daily basis.
But if you drink orange juice in the United States, you may be getting far more than you bargained for — a surprisingly high dose of one of the most controversial chemicals in the world, one that happens to be linked to cancer, and also serves as the main ingredient in Monsanto’s flagship herbicide. And unfortunately for the many thousands of people who drink them every day, the most popular brands in the United States are among those most affected.
Moms Across America founder Zen Honeycutt stated, "The discovery of glyphosate residue in orange juice is unacceptable, especially since a branch of the World Health Organization designated glyphosate a probable carcinogen, two years ago, back in the spring of 2015. The EPA has had ample time to revoke the license of this chemical and restrict its use in our food and beverage crops. As confirmed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, our children (who frequently drink orange juice for breakfast) are especially vulnerable to pesticides and measures should be taken immediately to protect them."
Moms Across America,has research that shows that as little as 0.1 ppb of glyphosate is capable of destroying beneficial gut bacteria. Repeated exposure is capable of weakening the immune system and potentially leading to additional health problems down the road.Their research shows that glyphosate may stimulate breast cancer at amounts as little as 1 part per trillion, and that the American diet far exceeds government standards for most people, especially children (who are most at-risk considering their developing bodies).
The five major brands that tested positive according to lab tests are:
1. Tropicana, with amounts of 26.05 ppb and 25.12 ppb in glyphosate residues.
2. Minute Maid, with amounts of 13.54 and 12.65 ppb
3. Stater Bros., with amounts of 4.93 and 4.43 ppb
4. Signature Farms, with amounts of 6.33 and 5.78 ppb
5. Kirkland, with amounts of 5.96 and 4.33 ppb
Conventional citrus growers often insist that harsh chemical herbicides are necessary to maintain crop production and to prevent competition for water between weeds and the orange trees. However, Dr. Don Huber, a professor at Purdue University, a farmer educator, and a plant pathologist with 50 years of experience, has stated that this is untrue; water usage is increased by using glyphosate, as are fungal disease and other problems. Furthermore, he emphatically asserts that, “The science and epidemiological data show glyphosate is NOT safe.” He has found many disadvantages to glyphosate use, including a reduction in productivity. He is concerned that the USGS showed that counties in Florida, a mecca of citrus growers, had as much as two tons per square mile of residual glyphosate/AMPA in them. Some of the disadvantages that he has identified are:
1. Glyphosate reduces water-use efficiencey by 50% so it takes twice as much water with glyphosate than it would using a bracharia grass mulch for weed control as was done by citrus growers in Brazil.
2. Citrus growers who use glyphosate herbicides will lose more trees from citrus variegated chlorosis (caused by xylella fastidiosa and sometimes called citrus blight or CVC) with glyphosate-use and will soon be in the same position as they are with the imminent demise of their olive production from this disease – and for the same reason.
3. Nutrient availability, water infiltration into soil, and natural biological controls of their soil-borne diseases are all greatly reduced by glyphosate's mineral nutrient chelation and antibiotic activity. It takes more fertilizer to compensate for the reduced nutrient availability. ”- Dr. Huber
Farmer educator Bob Streit added, "In reality, citrus production is down by over 50% from ten years ago due to the irrigation water being polluted by the pesticide. Independent soil analysis by qualified labs and the USGS (US Geological Survey) have confirmed the contamination of both the soil and water. The chelation effect is weakening the trees so much that they are being killed by a weak bacteria."
Are there other options?
Safer alternatives are available. Biostimulants, a more natural alternative, have been shown to have positive effects and come in a wide range of different products including beneficial soil bacteria, beneficial fungi, humic substances, and seaweed extract, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences plant physiologist Dr. Ute Albrecht. Dr. Albrecht says research indicates the biostimulants “have positive effects on plant growth and also on crop yields,” and she is now studying biostimulant use in citrus .Additional alternatives are also available, such as steam weed control, cover crops, mulch, and bio-diverse farming.