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Glyphosate Update: Dogs, Cats, Horses and People

We never thought to test cats and dogs!

When Health Research Institute started testing people for glyphosate, we just focused on people. But, a few pet owners called. They were concerned about exposure of their four-footed friends.

Our team tested a few cats and dogs, including some of our own – Ella, Shadow, Joonie and Thunder. All of them had glyphosate levels much higher than what we measured in people! 

One dog had a level 200 times higher than the human average. It made us wonder, “where is all this glyphosate coming from?” To answer that question, we launched an animal exposure study parallel to the human study. 

The graph below shows what we have seen so far. Cats are averaging 8 ppb which is 16 times the human average. Dogs are averaging 15.8 ppb which is 32 times the human average!

What is causing much higher glyphosate levels in animals?

You might think that exposure is due to walking outside, licking paws and grooming fur. Survey answers from study participants, however, suggest that exposure is far more dependent on pet food. Dogs that eat raw food have virtually no detectable glyphosate. Those that eat canned food have more. Those that eat kibble have higher levels. Those that eat grain-free kibble have the highest levels!

Why might grain-free kibble be the highest source of dogs’ exposure? The move by pet food makers away from corn and soy to fillers like oats, pea protein, chick peas and lentils is likely 

 the reason. As we have seen in the human study and by testing foods directly, crops like oats and legumes deliver the highest glyphosate levels to the consumer. This is because these crops are so often sprayed with glyphosate just before harvest, not to kill weeds but to kill the food crop to make it easier to process.

Horses eat a lot of oats and, increasingly, Roundup Ready® alfalfa, so this may explain their higher levels. We know less about why cats have higher levels because only a few cats have participated in the study so far. 

What are the consequences of chronic exposure by animals to glyphosate? 

There is less research on the consequences of glyphosate on the health of pets than on the health of humans. Given the correlation between glyphosate and lymphoma in people, the question naturally arises, “Is there a connection between glyphosate and the dramatic rise in cancer rates among pets?”

Perhaps veterinary researchers will investigate and let us know. In the meantime, feel free to share information from Health Research Institute’s animal exposure study with your veterinarian. Let us know what they think. 

You can also enroll your pet in the HRI study. We plan to submit it for peer-reviewed publication once enough data is collected. This may encourage other researchers to take a closer look.

If you have read this far, then thanks for taking the time! We appreciate your interest in the work of Health Research Institute.

Test Your Pets


Test pets and farm animals for glyphosate by gold standard LC-MS/MS instrumentation.

Just a small urine sample is required.Limits of detection (LOD) are highly sensitive at 0.02 part per billion (ppb).

Glyphosate and an Organic Diet

A groundbreaking peer-reviewed study published in February in the journal Environmental Research has found that switching to an organic diet significantly reduced the levels of synthetic pesticides found in all participants – in just a matter of days. Levels dropped as much as 99%.

A video summarizing the findings may be seen here.

While the Organic For All study did not include glyphosate, Dr. John Fagan, co-founder and Chief Scientist at Health Research Institute did an informal study on himself! He ate lots of conventional oats and other foods known to be high in glyphosate to boost his levels. Then he went 100% organic and tests showed a same dramatic reduction in just three days. The graph below starts on the first day that he went 100% organic.

Interestingly, on the 11th day of his organic diet, Dr. Fagan “fell off the wagon” and enjoyed a meal at a conventional Italian restaurant. His glyphosate and AMPA levels spiked the next day and returned to nearly zero at the end of three days.
In addition to Dr. Fagan’s own organic diet intervention, preliminary results from the ongoing human glyphosate exposure study by HRI Labs show 75% lower glyphosate levels in people who eat organic food. People with the most conventional diets had a level of 0.8 ppb in their urine while those with the most organic in their diets averaged 0.2 ppb.
Given Dr. Fagan’s experience and the preliminary study in which many of our readers have participated, we think switching to an organic diet can have a dramatic impact on lowering glyphosate levels in humans. As Dr. Fagan says, “If you don’t like glyphosate, don’t eat it!”


Test your exposure to glyphosate, the most widely used weed killing chemical on farms, lawns, schoolyards and golf courses.

Join others in this crowd-sourced research project to learn about ourselves, our food system, and our environment.



Test pets and farm animals for glyphosate by gold standard LC-MS/MS instrumentation. Limits of detection (LOD) are highly sensitive at less than 1 part per billion (ppb).

Results will help you determine whether to change diet or environmental exposures.



Testing of water by LC-MS/MS instrumentation.
Capable of determining if samples meet the stringent European maximum residue level of 0.1 ppb in drinking water.
The kit can also be used to test lakes, streams and reservoirs near your home.


Glyphosate Reported in Restaurant and Grocery Items

HRI test results were featured in a recent report, prepared by Friends of the Earth, that examined 30 oat cereal samples and 27 pinto bean samples for glyphosate. The report and test results may be viewed here.

A second report, Eating Out: A Date with Glyphosate, released this week by GMO Free USA, examined glyphosate levels in popular restaurant foods.

A full 100% of oat and bean samples tested for Friends of the Earth contained glyphosate. Oat cereal samples had levels averaging 360 parts per billion (ppb). Pinto bean samples had levels averaging 509 ppb. All food samples tested were non-organic and collected from top food retailers across the U.S.
Whole grain bagels and bread had some of the highest levels of glyphosate found in restaurant samples examined by GMO Free USA.  Panera Whole Grain Bagels had effective glyphosate levels as high as 677 ppb. Papa John’s pizza crust weighed in at 213 ppb. And, Subway’s 7-Grain Honey Whole Wheat bread tested at a level of 326 ppb.
The results of these reports were consistent with other samples tested by Health Research Institute. A selection of these test results is below.

HRI continues to test individuals, pets and drinking water for glyphosate.