REPORT: School lunches laden with high levels of toxic heavy metals and glyphosate

School lunches across the nation have received failing marks for nutritional value and cancer-causing chemicals in a nationwide testing initiative conducted by Moms Across America.

The Moms Across America project measured pesticides, heavy metals, veterinary drugs, hormones and nutrients found in 43 school lunches gathered from public schools among 15 states.

The testing was funded by Moms Across America supporters and Children’s Health Defense.

According to the groups, very high glyphosate levels were detected in much of the food, well above 25 ng/g government limit. According to animal studies, level above that threshold would be expected to be harmful to people when consumed consistently.

Glyphosate has been shown to cause cancer; be an endocrine disrupter; damage to sperm and reproductive organs; cause nervous system damage; and cause liver and kidney disease.

According to the groups:

  • Of the 43 school items tested, 41, or 95.3%, had detectable levels of glyphosate weed killer, the most widely used herbicide in the world, a known carcinogen
  • The highest level of glyphosate and AMPA (AMPA is glyphosate’s breakdown and can be even more toxic) were found in a beef taco with soft tortilla at 286.77 ng/g and in pizza at 156.14 ng/g 
  • 28 of the 43 school meal samples, or 65.1%, contained wheat ingredients
  • 100% of the wheat products were positive with glyphosate, averaging 42.09 ng/g
  • The average level of glyphosate in pizza was 154.51 ng/g

Additionally, the food was also tested for 220 of the most dangerous pesticides, and the lunches did not fare well in this category either.

  • 74% of the school lunch samples contained at least one of the harmful pesticides 
  • 29 different types of pesticides were present in 74% of the school lunches 
  • Thiabendazole, an immune suppressant, was found in 27.9% of the samples 
  • Piperonal Butoxide, a developmental toxin that causes birth defects and neurodevelopment disruptions, was in 41% of the samples. 
  • Pyrimethanil, which causes thyroid tumors in animals, was detected at 595.04 ppb on an apple.

Veterinary drugs, hormones, and heavy metals in school lunch food were also reportedly found at alarming levels.

  • 4 veterinary drugs and hormones were found in 9 school lunch samples at levels up to 130.76 ng/g
  • 100% of the school lunch samples contained heavy metals at levels up to 6,293 X higher than the EPA’s maximum levels allowed in drinking water
  • The majority of the samples was abysmally low in nutrients

These test results of the school lunches show us that we have a national crisis on our hands. Our government is allowing our children to be poisoned with a shocking number of toxins that contribute to various health, behavioral, and learning issues. In addition, the nutrient density of the food is almost completely deficient, leaving our children’s bodies starving for nutrients, unable to develop properly, and lacking nutrients that their brains need to learn and make sound decisions. If our government cares about America remaining a superpower and a prosperous nation, it must immediately take action to supply organically grown, nutrient-dense food to our nation’s children.”

Zen Honeycut, Director, Moms Across America

The results were released the same day the White House held its first National Nutrition Conference in 50 years.

Moms Across America says it hopes its study will encourage the political leaders to acknowledge and address the serious issues surrounding toxic agrochemical use in our food supply and its impact on nutrient density, human health, and the development and well-being of our children.

Read full report at:

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9 thoughts on “REPORT: School lunches laden with high levels of toxic heavy metals and glyphosate”

  1. Sheryl, is there any information on a fix? Is it just a matter of not properly preparing the food by washing the produce? Or is the pesticide integrated into the food? Thanks for reporting on this.

  2. They never let us know where the 44 tested items came from. Is the sample taken from schools across the US? Just the West, inner cities or Southern States? Without this key metric I find this report from Moms Across America to be a bit sensationalist

  3. Who chooses these lunches? Are they all from the same manufacturer? To where are they distributed?
    This is a VERY incomplete article.

    1. I don’t know how it works today, but a few years ago, contractors would buy produce and meats that were determined to be edible but unsalable cheaply and sell it to school lunch programs at enormous profit. There’s a lot of corruption and cronyism that goes on between school administrators and shady contractors, but it’s rarely investigated or reported.

  4. The link to the Moms Across America site (at the end of the article) show much more detailed information about the kinds of chemicals/substances found. It’s well worth the click.

  5. Not just in schools but in your supermarkets also. And you cannot wash it out. . They spray the fields with glyphosate to kill the insects from destroying the plants. This is all states and most countries. If your kid is on medications this probably is a contributor.

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