Your Beer Probably Has Weed Killer In It, Should You Be Scared?

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The public-interest advocacy group U.S. PIRG released a new report that shows trace amounts of glyphosate — the controversial herbicide found in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer — in 19 out of 20 big beer and wine brands they’ve examined. So before you call it a day and head out for a night drinking, maybe don’t? Or do. Because even if you opt out of drinking tonight to avoid the chemical, you’re probably just going to consume it in something else — cheerios, pasta, bread… if you like wheat, the stuff has a way of finding you.

The brands that U.S. PIRG analyzed were Beringer, Barefoot, Budweiser, Coors, Corona, Frey Vineyards, Guinness, Miller Lite, Peak, New Belgium, Samuel Adams, Samuel Smith, Stella Artois, Sutter Home, and Tsingtao. So chances are you probably already have glyphosate all up in you.


Sutter Home Merlot scored the highest concentration of glyphosate at 51.4 parts per billion, followed by Hong Kong beer Tsingtao with 49.7 ppb, and American favorite Coors Light scoring a solid 31.1 ppb. Very cool flex. Only one beer tested clean — the Belgium-brewed Peak Beer, which we’ve never had because, ew, no glyphosate?

While the report acknowledges that the levels of glyphosate are below what the EPA considers a risk, they still found the results concerning considering the potential health risks associated with exposure to glyphosate, noting that scientists have found that 1 part per trillion of the chemical is enough to stimulate breast cancer cells and disrupt the endocrine system.

U.S. Geological Survey

In a statement to USA TODAY, William Reeves, a toxicologist for Bayer tried to ease panic,

“Assuming the greatest value reported, 51.4 ppb, is correct, a 125-pound adult would have to consume 308 gallons of wine per day, every day for life to reach the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s glyphosate exposure limit for humans … To put 308 gallons into context, that would be more than a bottle of wine every minute, for life, without sleeping.”

To which we say, challenge accepted Mr. Reeves! It should be mentioned though that Bayer owns Monsanto and Monsanto produces Roundup and Roundup is the chemical that infuses your gluten with glyphosate.

When USA TODAY reached out to many of the wineries and breweries examined in their study, most companies contested the accuracy of PIRG’s study, but one brand, the organic winery Frey Vineyards, explained that while herbicides aren’t used in their farming practices, “glyphosate in trace amounts is now found in rainwater because of its application to conventionally farmed agricultural land… We urge consumers to speak up to ban all use of glyphosate.”

Perhaps the report isn’t alarming enough to warrant tossing out all your favorite beer and wine and stocking up on Peak, but we’ve got to say, “Your beer has week killer” isn’t fun news to hear.