Glyphosate has received a great deal of media attention in recent months, and as a result, we’ve seen a number of questions regarding the presence of Glyphosate in food.
At Good Earth, we hold USDA Organic as our fundamental quality standard because of the clearly stated and quantifiable protections it provides for our food and the environment. Our USDA National Organic Program (NOP) prohibits the use of Glyphosate, as well as many other toxic chemicals in both agriculture and food processing.
Testing for glyphosate
While Glyphosate use is prohibited within the organic system, on occasion, organic products may test positive for low levels of Glyphosate or other pesticide residues.
This can be attributed to the fact that Glyphosate use in conventional farming is widespread, and that Glyphosate particles can travel through both air and water to nearby organic farms. Glyphosate residues have been detected in rain water, and other pesticides have been detected in animals living in the most remote and pristine places on Earth.
Though organic farmers are doing everything in their power to avoid toxic chemicals, they are unable to control the minute residues on their crops.
At Good Earth we believe that supporting these growers is a necessary part of any long term and meaningful solution to cleaning up our environment.
National Organic Program’s Focus
The USDA NOP was intentionally designed to focus on the practices used on Organic farms and not the purity of tested products, partly because of the severe limitations of testing toxins.
In testing for inadvertent contamination levels, the results have been highly variable, meaning that one container may indicate contamination, and the next will not. In addition, there are hundreds of other pesticides/herbicides that could potentially contaminate organic products, each of which would require a separate test (and cost) to detect.
Unfortunately, to assure complete purity, you would need to test every batch of food produced for each of the hundreds of potential contaminants. Such a process would likely result in testing costs that exceeded the cost of the food, itself. Therefore, the NOP does require some testing of product, but it is used as a check on the practices required for organic production, and not as the backbone of the organic program.
Best way to avoid glyphosate: go organic
If you’re looking to avoid Glyphosate, supporting organic farmers and producers is the best option.
When organic products do test positive for Glyphosate, they do so at much lower levels than their conventional counterparts. Additionally, by converting more of our farmland to organic, we can significantly decrease the amount of glyphosate used, resulting in much less Glyphosate residue on all of our food.