Cornell Finds Pesticide Glyphosate In Several Dog And Cat Foods

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
A study from Cornell found that glyphosate, the herbicidal ingredient most commonly found in weed killers like Roundup, may also be in your pet’s dog food as well.

More and more research comes out regularly about the hazards of certain pesticides, with glyphosate being one of the tops in the news. Just recently, Monsanto, the makers of glyphosate, were ordered to pay restitution to a man with cancer, as the jury found the chemical exposure was the cause of his disease.

Related: Study: Canine Cancers Linked To Common Lawn Chemicals

Now, researchers who look at the impact of glyphosate in soils, waters, and animals who consume glyphosate in their foods found that there were several varieties of dog and cat foods commonly found in stores that contained low levels of glyphosate.

The study was part of a larger research project led by Brian Richards, who is a senior research associate in biological and environmental engineering. He and his co-authors Anthony Hay, an associate professor of microbiology and Kenneth Simpson, a professor of small-animal medicine bought multiple bags of major brand cat and dog foods. The foods were bought from a retail store as well as a pet store and all 18 foods bought were mixtures of meat and vegetable ingredients. One food was even certified as GMO-free.

Lead author Jiang Zhao and support researcher specialist Steve Pcenka tested the samples in Hay’s lab and found that all of the foods, including the GMO-free food had levels of glyphosate. The levels ranged from 80-2000 micrograms of glyphosate per kilogram on average.

There is not enough data to support specific effects low-dose glyphosate exposure has on domestic animals, so the team used human daily intake guides for context. They estimated that the average dog exposure would be about 0.7% of the U.S. glyphosate limit deemed acceptable for humans.

Hay said that they were surprised by the levels found in the foods, but if a human ate it every day, the glyphosate levels of exposure would still be below what is currently deemed as safe.

Related: Study: Decreased Sperm Count in Dogs Due to Dog Food Chemicals

The most contaminated food they studied still had less glyphosate than the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Draft Risk Assessment for glyphosate claims problematic, according to Dan Wixted, who is a pesticide educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension but who was not involved with the study.

Hay’s team suggested that the evidence they found believes the glyphosate is coming from plant material in foods, and this most likely is due to crop-spraying ingredients as glyphosate does not bio-accumulate in animals.

But as more and more research begins to show the danger in the exposure to glyphosate, and more–the conflict between big businesses behind products that include glyphosate and consumers who want the best for their families–pets included– pet owners may want to continue to monitor ingredients in their pet’s foods.

Hay says that the research doesn’t show any immediate risk, there is too much uncertainty in continued low dose exposures, so for his own dog, he’s stopped feeding one of the foods that they found to be high in glyphosate.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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