Researchers from Abraxis LLC and Boston University have further confirmed that the world’s most used herbicide – glyphosate – is widespread in food products around the globe. The researchers tested honey, pancake and corn syrup, soy sauce, soy milk and tofu purchased in the Philadelphia, US metropolitan area.
Samples of honey (sixty nine), pancake and corn syrup (twenty six), soy sauce (twenty eight), soy milk (eleven), and tofu (twenty) purchased in the Philadelphia, US metropolitan area in 2014 were analyzed for glyphosate residue using ELISA testing.
The minimum limit of quantification (LOQ) of the method were determined for honey, pancake syrup, and corn syrup to be 15 ppb; soy sauce, soy milk, and tofu 75 ppb. This means that even if the results were negative for some products they could have also contained glyphosate at levels under the minimum limit.
Glyphosate residues above the minimum limit of quantification were not found in pancake and corn syrup, soy milk, and tofu.
However, the most shocking results were found in honey:
Of the sixty-nine honey samples analyzed, forty-one samples, or fifty-nine percent (59%), had glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (15 ppb), with a concentration range between 17 and 163 ppb and a mean of 64 ppb.
Even more surprisingly five of the eleven organic honey samples, or forty-five percent (45%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 26 to 93 ppb and a mean of 50 ppb.
Of the fifty-eight non-organic honey samples, thirty-six samples, or sixty-two percent (62%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 17 to 163 ppb and a mean of 66 ppb.
In addition to comparison of production method (organic vs. conventional), the honey results were evaluated according to pollen source and by country of origin, grouped by GMO usage (prohibited, limited, or permitted).
Glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (75 ppb) were also found in ten of the twenty-eight soy sauce samples evaluated (36%), with a concentration range between 88 and 564 ppb and a mean of 242 ppb; all organic soy sauce samples tested were below the method LOQ.
The European Union has specific guidelines for the labeling of organic honey. According to those guidelines, the location of apiaries is strictly controlled and states that “Nectar and pollen sources available over a three-kilometer radius around the apiary sites must consist essentially of organically produced crops or crops treated with low-environmental-impact methods. Apiaries must also be far enough away from any non-agricultural production source that could lead to contamination (e.g. urban centers, waste dumps, waste incinerators, etc.). Member States have the option of prohibiting the production of organic honey in certain regions or areas that do not meet these conditions. Organic honey must not contain chemicals residues (synthetic pesticides, etc.).”
The United States has no such guidelines for the organic production of honey, but uses organic farming certification for honey labeling purposes; one reason is that it is practically impossible to regulate without testing all honey for residues since bees can fly up to 3 miles in search of nectar and it is difficult to be certain that they do not feed on nectar contaminated by crop spraying or industrial sources. In the EU, glyphosate residues in non-organic honey regulatory limits are 50 ng/g, the United States does not have a limit in honey.
It’s hard to ignore the presence of glyphosate in a large portion of our food supply. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s star herbicide, Roundup. It is interesting to note that the level of glyphosates was much higher in honey from countries that permitted GM crops; honey from the U.S. contained the highest levels.