Most of the food that we eat makes a long and tortuous journey to our tables, often over great distances or from unknown origins.
Whether it’s factory-farmed eggs, processed chicken, fresh fruit from the west coast, seafood from the east coast, or a glass of wine or ice-cold beer, we often assume that what we’re eating is generally healthy or at least won’t harm us if enjoyed in moderation.
However, a new report by public-interest watchdog group U.S. PIRG has revealed that most of the top beers and wines in the United States are contaminated with glyphosate, the main ingredient in Monsanto’s weed-killer, Roundup.
Roundup is a controversial herbicide that has been linked to cancer and other health problems in studies by the World Health Organization and the State of California, among others. In recent years, thousands of people have blamed Monsanto for being a key contributor to their cancer, leading to calls across the world for the weed-killer to be banned.
The advocacy group tested five wines and fifteen beers. The beer brands tested included top-sellers Budweiser, Coors, Miller Lite, Sam Adams, Samuel Smith Organic, and New Belgium. The wine brands tested included Beringer, Barefoot and Sutter Home.
Out of the 20 brands tested, glyphosate was found in 19 of them – including in 3 out of 4 organic beers and wines.
Among the beverages with the highest concentration of glyphosate was 2018 Sutter Home Merlot at 51.4 parts per billion (pbb) and Tsingtao, a beer from China, with 49.7 pbb – a rather high level when compared with the U.S. beer with the largest amount, which was Coors Light at 31.1 pbb.
Organic beverages like 2016 Inkarri Malbec lagged behind at 5.3 pbb while 2017 Samuel Smith Lager had 5.7 pbb.
In a statement, organic winery Frey Vineyards noted that while it refrains from the use of both herbicides and pesticides, “glyphosate in trace amounts is now found in rainwater because of its application to conventionally farmed agricultural land. Glyphosate in trace amounts can be found in many food products across the United States. We urge consumers to speak up to ban all use of glyphosate.”
Peak Organic IPA was the sole adult beverage that had no trace of the likely carcinogen.
The group warned that while the level of contamination isn’t necessarily deadly, the discovery raises potential health concerns.
The report noted:
“The levels of glyphosate we found are not necessarily dangerous, but are still concerning given the potential health risks. What is surprising is that glyphosate found its way into almost every type of beer and wine tested, including organic products. That indicates that consumers who want to avoid glyphosate, due to its probably health effects, would have a difficult time doing so. Considering the ubiquity of glyphosate found in many foods tested by other scientists and groups, and the amount of glyphosate sprayed throughout the country, people are constantly exposed to glyphosate.”
While industry representatives have sought to minimize the report in media statements to USA Today, PIRG stressed that it remains important for consumers to understand the potential danger of imbibing pesticides on a regular basis.
Kara Cook-Schultz of the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, who also authored the study, noted:
“No matter the efforts of brewers and vintners, we found that it is incredibly difficult to avoid the troubling reality that consumers will likely drink glyphosate at every happy hour and backyard barbecue around the country.”
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), for its part, has fiercely defended the use of glyphosates, telling USA Today in an email that it “found no meaningful risks to human health, including infants and children, when the product is used according to the pesticide label,” and that it has concluded at this stage that the herbicide is “not likely to be carcinogenic” to humans.
The EPA’s conclusion is sharply at odds with that reached by the World Health Organization, which found glyphosate to be a probable carcinogen in 2015 – a conclusion that the State of California concurred with in 2017. Monsanto has tried to appeal the case paving the way for its legal liability, along with parent company Bayer, in thousands of lawsuits where consumers and farmers have blamed Roundup for their incurable cancer.
In October, the first court trial over Roundup’s link to cancer ended with a victory for groundskeeper DeWayne Johnson, who was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of 42 due to the herbicide. Now 46, Johnson will be paid $78 million, but may not live long enough to receive the money.
And starting Monday, a jury in San Francisco federal court began the first federal case on Roundup’s links to a 70-year-old man’s cancer, which may pave the way for hundreds of similar cases. On its first day, the judge threatened to “shut down” any discussion of Monsanto’s long track-record of pressuring government regulators and manipulating cancer research.
Critics have long accused Monsanto of using its wealth and power to force regulators to declare glyphosate safe, including through outright collusion with EPA officials who killed past investigations by the agency.
Nevertheless, PIRG hopes that their study will help inform consumers about what’s at stake in the federal trial – and what goes into their bodies. The group has called for the ubiquitous herbicide to be banned until it can be proven safe, and for consumers to opt for organic products whenever possible due to the significantly lower amounts of glyphosate found in them.
“With a federal court looking at the connection between Roundup and cancer today, we believe this is the perfect time to shine a spotlight on glyphosate … This chemical could prove a true risk to so many Americans’ health, and they should know that it is everywhere – including in many of their favorite drinks.”
Jeff Bezos Thanks Amazon Workers And Customers For Paying For His Flight To Space
The billionaire space race chalked up one more ignoble milestone on July 20 when the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, boarded a reusable rocket his company Blue Origin built and funded, flew to the edge of space for a moment of weightlessness, and came back down to earth.
You can watch the flight and learn more about the journey here.
The Amazon founder has faced withering criticism for accumulating his massive fortune on the backs of an exploited workforce that is subject to harsh working conditions and low pay in warehouses or Fulfillment Centers where staffers must urinate in water bottles in order to meet their quotas.
In his press conference following the launch, Bezos thanked that same workforce for helping him to shoot himself into space in a move that many critics have described as a simple “joyride.”
“I want to thank every Amazon employee and every Amazon customer because you guys paid for this,” he told the crowd, which responded with laughter. “Seriously, for every Amazon customer out there and every employee thank you from the bottom of my heart very much. It’s very appreciated.”
Critics on Twitter responded with derision, noting that Bezos was able to enjoy the trip at the expense of his hard-working employees.
“Thing is, employers are supposed to pay their employees, not the other way around, but that’s basically how Amazon works,” one user tweeted.
While another tweeter asked: “Maybe they’re searching space for signs of a livable wage or a way to pay their fair share of taxes?”
On Tuesday, Bezos blasted off in the sub-orbital New Shepard rocket from Texas. The date for the launch was chosen to coincide with the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.
Members of the crew, which included his brother mark and 82-year-old female astronaut Wally Funk, brought a number of historic items on the flight, including a piece of canvas from the conceptual plane originally flown by the Wright brothers, the goggles Amelia Earhart used to fly across the Atlantic, and a brass medal made from the first hot air balloon which flew in 1783.
Keanu Reeves Praised As Video of Him Offering Seat to Lady in Subway Resurfaces
Keanu Reeves is an actor who has long been loved by audiences —and not necessarily due to his acting skills, but due to how nice the John Wick star is.
And now, Reeves is once again earning praise as a “true gentleman” after resurfaced video footage shows Reeves giving up his seat on the subway.
The clip was shared by Instagram film fan account Cinemonkeys where it has since earned nearly 45,000 likes.
The video footage dates back to 2011, when it was shared on YouTube by a user of the video-sharing platform.
At the time, Reeves was already a superstar riding on the fame he earned from the Matrix, Speed, and a number of other blockbuster hits.
When Reeves notices a woman carrying a heavy bag, he quickly points to his seat and asks if she would like to sit. The woman accepts and Reeves gets up without hesitating to let her take his seat.
Reeves, ever the model citizen, then stands and holds onto a subway pole while carrying his bag.
The video has since been watched over 27 million times and was even cited in a 2019 Time magazine profile of the actor describing Reeves as the “soul mate” of the internet.
The resurfacing of the clip on Instagram once again impressed users of the platform.
“This human being’s soul honestly shines so bright,” wrote one user.
“OMG I love him in every single way,” another person commented.
“His kindness knows no bounds,” commented someone else.
Keanu is set to reprise his role as Neo in the upcoming fourth Matrix film directed and written by Lana Wachowski, who co-directed the earlier trilogy with her sister Lilly. He will also return to the silver screen in John Wick: Chapter 4, which will be released in 2022.
Drunk Man Rescues Injured Baby Bird By Sending It To Animal Shelter… In An Uber
An injured baby bird received a new lease on life after a young man who was inebriated had the good sense to send the little creature to an animal shelter because he and his friends were too drunk to drive.
In the Summer of 2019, a small lesser goldfinch suddenly appeared by itself at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. The center’s chairman, Buz Marthaler, was notified by a volunteer who sent him a photo.
“It was a picture of this bird, and it had come by Uber,” Marthaler told FOX13. “It was just crazy.”
As it turns out, the tiny bird – which was only two weeks old – indeed rolled up to the site by its lonesome, the sole passenger in an Uber vehicle called by concerned citizens who found the injured creature.
Among those good Samaritans was Tim Crowley, who had been “day drinking” on that Saturday before he and his buddies witnessed the little bird fall from the sky.
“Impromptu, sitting in some camp chairs, hanging out, having a few drinks when we had a visitor fall out of the sky,” he explained.
Crowley then snapped a photo of the bird and sent it to the WRCNU, which instructed him to immediately bring the bird in. However, the group obviously couldn’t drive since they had been guzzling booze all day.
So Crowley decided he’d hail a cab for the creature.
“At first it was a joke, like, ‘Hey, maybe we should just call Uber!’” he said. “Then we were like, ‘No, really. Why not? We’re paying them.’”
As it turns out, the bird – since named “Petey Uber” by staff at the rescue center – likely would have perished if not for Crowley’s quick thinking.
Marthaler remains impressed by Crowley’s move and shared the news on its Facebook page.
“While we feel we’ve seen it all and can’t be amazed by anything, there is always someone out there to prove us wrong,” the shelter’s post read. “Thank you to the rescuer who helped this little one get the care it needed in a timely manner and thank you for keeping yourself safe and others on the road safe as well.”