We always like to trust the science — it’s our friend in agriculture. Science has given us advanced seed technology, unmanned aerial vehicles, and GPS steering in tractors.
Those against ag sometimes stretch science incorrectly, and among the most notable of those instances was in 2014 when the advocacy group Moms Across America screamed as loud as they could claiming that glyphosate was found in the breast milk of American women. The catch? Nobody has been able to reproduce those results. Ever. Forget about peer-reviews or testing transparency for their research; MAA didn’t see the need to be current on their scientific practices. And there is enough leaping to conclusions in that report to make your head spin. (Perhaps the word “report” should be in quotations.)
So, once again, the debunking has gone on. Just last week, scientists published “Determination of Glyphosate Levels in Breast Milk Samples from Germany by LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS” in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, which is a weekly peer-reviewed scientific journal that’s been around since 1953.
Not only did the scientists try to find traces of the world’s most popular weed killer in breast milk, their conclusions call out the MAA research in the process. We’ll boil down the results for you:
“The positive findings of glyphosate in breast milk of American women could not be confirmed by our results. In none of the 114 breast milk samples collected from German women in August and September 2015 was glyphosate found within the detection limitations of the analytical methods,” said the new report, authored by nine scientists.
On Wednesday, the Washington, D.C.-based Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a leading science and tech policy think tank, weighed in to support modern agricultural practices and to affirm the role of fact-based, independent research:
“Using the most sensitive analytical techniques available, these researchers were unable to find any evidence of glyphosate in mother’s milk from 114 German mothers who volunteered for the study,” the ITIF said. “This is yet another demonstration that the attack being waged on the world’s most widely used weed killer is unwarranted and ill considered. Farmers need all the tools they can get to keep us fed and clothed, and taking these tools away despite repeated demonstrations of their value and safety is in no one’s interest.”