Carcinogens Found in Supermarket Hummus



(JTA) – That hummus may not be as healthful as you want to believe, according to an environmental advocacy group’s latest research.

Laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found glyphosate, the chemical better known as Roundup, in 80% of conventional chickpeas and hummus tested.

Glyphosate, commonly used to kill weeds, is considered a likely human carcinogen. The company that makes Roundup agreed last month to pay more than $10 billion to settle thousands of claims that the product contributed to cancers.

The Environmental Working Group is an advocacy group that commissions research on the health of consumer products. Among the brands that exceeded the organization’s benchmarks for safe levels of the chemical were Whole Foods Market Original Hummus, Sabra Classic Hummus, Sabra Roasted Pine Nut Hummus, Cava Traditional Hummus and Harris Teeter Fresh Foods Market Traditional Artisan Hummus. (All brands fell well within the Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate limits.)

Organic food producers are not allowed to apply glyphosate to their crops, but the trials did detect the chemical in several organic chickpea products, although the levels were lower than in the conventionally grown products. But the levels in Whole Foods Market’s organic-label Original Hummus exceeded the Environmental Working Group’s benchmark for safety.

For people seeking to avoid glyphosate in their food, producing one’s own hummus — an easy, no-cooking task — unfortunately offers no solution. The dry chickpeas that the Environmental Working Group tested had the highest levels of the herbicide of all the products it reviewed.

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  1. If one wants to avoid glyphosate (41% increased risk of cancer), best to look for products that are both certified organic and certified GMO-free. It is by using genetically modified grains and legumes that growers are able to use weed killers like glyphosate without killing the crop intended to be harvested. Sometimes growers do not even use glyphosate while the crop is growing. Rather they spray the glyphosate when the crop is ready to be harvested, killing the weeds, but not the plant intended for harvest. This is why the European Union has banned genetically modified food products. The only sure way to avoid this health/cancer disaster is for “we the people” to get back to growing (and marketing locally) our own food, instead of letting corporations to grow and sell their unhealthy food to us.

    • If you look at the bona fides of FDA administrators, it’s pretty clear there’s a revolving door between them and big agra high level management. Same thing with other federal agencies, such as FAA, CTFC, SEC. It’s fool’s gold to imagine their first allegiance is to the general public.

  2. If they think hummus is bad, they ought to check peanut butter. Peanuts are legumes, not nuts that grow in a tree. They grow close to the ground, are sprayed with insecticides and herbicides, and have thin shells. Worse, lots of kids eat it. If you, or your family, are going to eat peanut butter, buy Valencia peanut butter that is certified organic. Stay healthy, my friends. Peace!

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