While the levels of glyphosate were below the legal limit set by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Organic Consumers Association argues that any presence of the carcinogenic pesticide product is misleading, unnecessary and very dangerous.
“It’s time for Ben & Jerry’s to announce it will immediately begin transitioning to 100-percent organic,” using zero pesticides in production, the OCA said in a post on its website. “Otherwise conscious consumers have no choice but to launch a national and, if necessary, international protest campaign and boycott.“
MSN reports: The OCA has called for Ben & Jerry’s to stop labeling its ice creams as “natural” because the brand’s dairy cows consume genetically-engineered corn (the brand told the New York Times that it is working to find all-natural alternatives). Add-ins, such as peanut butter or cookie dough, containing ingredients that have been sprayed with the weedkiller may also be the source of the glyphosate in the ice creams, according to the Times.
Glyphosate was listed as a carcinogen in California earlier this month. The World Health Organization has also listed glyphosphate as a “probable carcinogen.” Monsanto continues to fight the charges against its money-making active ingredient, however, arguing that glyphosphate is fit for human consumption.
Despite the continued debate, many customers simply do not want to have a herbicide ingredient in their food. Soon after the Times published its article on the OCA’s ice cream test, the brand began receiving complaints and boycott threats on social media.
“You are my favorite ice cream brand, but I CANNOT buy your ice cream again until it no longer comes up positive for MONSANTO’S GLYPHOSATE,” one person wrote on the brand’s Facebook page, referring to Roundup’s maker and leading G.M.O. seed producer, Monsanto.
— Anna (@annamana) July 25, 2017
Ben & Jerry’s, which was founded by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (who the OCA calls “two affable hippies”) in 1978, did not immediately return Business Insider’s request for comment. The company has long had a reputation for advocating for the environment and social justice, even after its acquisition by consumer goods giant Unilever in 2001.