Glyphosate, the active ingredient in commercial herbicide Roundup, was added to California’s Prop 65 list in April of this year, while the scientific community continues to argue about the dangers of glyphosate at trace levels when consumed by humans.
Food industry litigation experts doubt that trace levels of glyphosate in most packaged food and beverage products will be high enough to require a Prop 65 warning, but they still advise companies to be prepared and ask their ingredient suppliers how much glyphosate residue might be detectible in their raw materials. This has pushed many companies to take extra steps in measuring glyphosate traces in its raw material and seek certification to show consumers that the company has done its due diligence.
“For supplement companies that don't use food sources and only use isolates in multivitamins, it might not be critical to test for glyphosate,” Bethany Davis, director of industry and regulatory affairs at MegaFood, told NutraIngredients-USA.
“Being a food and farmer-focused supplement company, we will buy over 750,000 lbs of whole foods and herbs from American farmers this year which will be used to deliver nutrition in our supplements. For our company, we are truly a part of the US food system and are very concerned about the heavy use of chemical agricultural methods,” she said.
Certification from The Detox Project
The certification was granted by start-up The Detox Project, an independent research and certification organization, after MegaFood submitted its products to an independent, third-party laboratory for testing and was found to have met The Detox Project's stringent standards.
Glyphosate joins Prop 65 list, but what does this mean for food manufacturers?
Glyphosate (the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide RoundUp) was added to California's Prop 65 list on July 7, 2017, meaning warning labels will be required from July 2018. But what, if anything, does this mean for packaged foods that might contain trace levels of pesticide residue? READ MORE ON FOODNAVIGATOR-USA
“MegaFood has been testing our products for traces of over 148 herbicides and pesticides for more than a decade,” Davis said.
“We test raw agricultural materials and finished products and we will not buy raw materials that test positive for herbicides and pesticides and we won't release a batch of products for sale that don't test free and meet our Herbicide/pesticide specifications.
“We are so pleased that there is finally a third-party certification program to bring more attention to Glyphosate, the number one herbicide used in the US. The certification requires products to be tested periodically to the lowest limits of detection available.”
One of the first supplement brands to get certification
Other brands that have received glyphosate residue free certification from The Detox Project are mostly food and beverage companies, such as avocado oil maker Chosen Foods and honey brand Heavenly Organics.
MegaFood hopes its move will inspire other supplement companies to join in. “The supply chain through which ingredients are purchased for use in supplements is complex and varied. Much of the GMO (genetically modified) crops that depend on glyphosate containing herbicides for cultivation go on to become processed ingredients which are prevalent in supplements and foods,” Davis said.
“In an effort to encourage a more sustainable and regenerative model for farming and food systems, we want to make a bold stance about our position on glyphosate,” she added.