ASHEVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Nutrition is fundamental to children’s growth and development. A nationwide school lunch testing project is measuring pesticides, heavy metals, veterinary drugs, hormones, and nutrients in public school lunches to show just what’s in these meals.

Moms Across America announced the project, testing the nutrient results of 43 school lunches gathered from public schools in 15 states. The initiative was conducted by MAAM – mothers, fathers, and students who gathered school lunch samples, with funding from MAAM and Children’s Health Defense.

“These test results of the school lunches show us that we have a national crisis on our hands,” says MAAM Director, Zen Honeycutt. “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.”

According to project testing, results show that the food American children eat at school is unsafe, toxic, and low in nutrients:

  • 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

Several items had very high glyphosate levels, well above 25 ng/g which, according to animal studies, would be expected to be harmful when consumed consistently, along with other items containing glyphosate. Glyphosate has been shown to be carcinogenic, endocrine disrupting, damaging to sperm and reproductive organs, causing nervous system damage, and causing liver and kidney damage.

220 of the most egregious pesticides were also tested for:

  • 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 are also 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 were abysmally low in nutrients

The project goes on to say, without proper nutrients in food, children will not develop properly and be able to think, learn, and act to their fullest potential. Proper nutrition can be instrumental in reducing and preventing learning disorders and violent behavior. Safe, non-toxic, nutrient-dense food is essential for the health of our children and the future of our nation. America should invest in healthy, safe nutrition for every child in our public schools.

For more information, see the full report by clicking here.