Talking Biotech: Podcast with Kevin Folta

A science based assessment of new technology and the future of food. 100% funded by Kevin Folta.


Talking Biotech: Florida’s Kevin Folta on scaring consumers about glyphosate in foods

| November 26, 2016

The last episode contained information about glyphosate that was allegedly detected in common grocery store items. Today’s podcast is an important follow-up.

At the time the discussion was 100% correct based on the methods and information provided. I have since been contacted by the laboratory that did the testing. I’m confident that their numbers were reported correctly, as described in their analytical reports. So is there herbicide detected in parts per billion? Looks like it could be, in some cases, correctly detected with reliable quantitation in other cases, and in other cases, it is not detected (still could be there below limit of detection).

What it means again is that we are very good at detecting something that almost isn’t there, and you would need to eat billions of boxes of Cheerios to reach a physiologically perilous level of the herbicide.


It also means no reason for alarm: The levels are amazingly small, and are a testament to outstanding detection—and are not the poisons as described. This clarification also underscores the importance of peer review. When methods are incomplete, and controls like organic products are coming back positive—it suggests that there are serious issues with the measurements.

So the question shifts again to the ethics of activist groups that attempt to scare parents with minuscule non-zero numbers. That is the conversation we must be having.

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