Pennsylvania Researchers Discover Glyphosate Herbicide in Honey and Soy Sauce

Posted on Feb 12 2015 - 8:31am by Sustainable Pulse

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.

Find the full published survey here

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.

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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.

Sustainable Pulse Director Henry Rowlands reacted Thursday to the published results;

“This sad news shows just how widespread glyphosate is in our food. With the increase in GM crops being cultivated worldwide it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid. If you ask anyone if they feel there should be ‘allowed’ levels of toxic chemicals such as glyphosate in their bodies the answer will of course always be ‘No’. It is a fact that the scientific and regulatory process cannot evidence ‘safe’ levels for these chemicals.”

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). The results showed that honey from countries that permit GM crops contained far more glyphosate than honey from countries which limit or prohibit the cultivation of GM crops, with the levels in the U.S. by far the highest.

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.

Glyphosate has also been found in American women’s breast milk and Kellogg’s Froot Loops in recent tests. All of this research raises red flags that the FDA have ignored.

Despite testing for hundreds of pesticides in food commodities, the USDA does not test for glyphosate residues. Why would the USDA not test for residues of the most widely used herbicide in the world?

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29 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. rob February 12, 2015 at 15:56 - Reply

    “Why would the USDA not test for residues of the most widely used herbicide in the world?”

    Umm, let’s see, because the head of the USDA is a leading advocate for monsanto and biotech in general…

    • Christian February 13, 2015 at 08:42 - Reply

      Why would they,
      Ask Clarence Thomas

    • Deb March 23, 2015 at 23:24 - Reply

      It is so frustrating that the evidence is there about the foods we eat and the food industry methods, but money power takes precedence over the human health condition. Same with the Global Warming information that has been dismissed to keep the masses unaware. What a terrible legacy. Been watching the Netflix House of Cards series about the US Government and the things that go on, it is understood to be fiction, but I feel it is quite accurate, unfortunately.

  2. Pattie February 12, 2015 at 16:15 - Reply

    What brands!? this is not helpful without details.

    • Sustainable Pulse February 12, 2015 at 16:19 - Reply

      Hi Pattie,

      Sadly the study authors did not release which brands they studied.

      Kind Regards,
      Sustainable Pulse Team

      • Alex February 12, 2015 at 18:11 - Reply

        Out of fear of a lawsuit, no doubt.

        • suz February 25, 2015 at 20:26 - Reply

          look for “organic” on the jar

          • Deporodh March 6, 2015 at 00:28 -

            Only 45% of organic honeys that were studied had glycophosphate above the levels used as threashold.

            By comparison, 62% (nearly one-fifth MORE honeys) of the non-organic honeys studied had it.

            It is disturbing, though, alas, not surprising, to find organic honeys with this level of contamination. But at least you have a nearly 3 in 5 chance of getting honey free of the damn chemical by buying *organic*.

            Buy NON-organic honey, and it’s almost a 2 in 3 chance that you WILL GET CONTAMINATION.

  3. Greg February 12, 2015 at 19:18 - Reply

    I am thrilled that Boston University is looking into levels of Glyphosate in food! I am wondering what department is sponsoring the funding? It seems like such a third rail topic… if they are willing to fund measuring glyphosate, maybe they would be willing to fund an independent study of its effects?

  4. Jj February 12, 2015 at 20:23 - Reply

    I agree, we need to know the brands. Otherwise, we have to buy only brands from countries that don’t allow Glyphosate or alot of the pesticides we use in the U.S. I always figured (particularly raw) honey had to be especially high in pesticides since they can’t wash it…because the bees frolic in the chemicals, get them allover their bodies and then bring them back to the hive. For this reason, I only buy organic raw honey. Now I am disappointed and angry.

    • Absolom February 13, 2015 at 22:34 - Reply

      It’s difficult to control where the bees are gathering nectar from. While organic honey means the colony is likely not being fed sugar water out fructose our anti biotic laced sugar, they can easily be gathering from herbicide treated plants. Don’t forget about systemic pesticides as well. Even big box store flowers like from home depot and Lowes can have systemic pesticides in them. The bees makes honey from that and feed it to the juveniles while they are wintering, results in ccd months later.

    • Karen Hansell February 18, 2015 at 04:45 - Reply

      If you read the actual text of the study, you will see it is an international study. Substances from other countries were tested. It is a global problem, not just the U.S.: Here’s an excerpt, followed by a link to the actual study:

      “In this study, the first sample matrix analyzed for the presence of glyphosate was honey; 69 samples were analyzed and classified into 18 groups depending on the country of origin listed on the bottles: (A) Brazil, (B) Canada, (C) China, (D) Germany, (E) Greece, (F) Hungary, (G) India, (H) Korea, (I) blend of Mexico, Brazil, and Uruguay, (J) New Zealand, (K) Spain, (L) Taiwan, (M) blend of Ukraine and Vietnam, (N) USA, (O) blend of USA and Argentina, (P) blend of USA, Argentina and Canada, (Q) blend of USA, South America, (R) unknown origin. The glyphosate concentrations obtained are shown in (Figure 2). Fortyone out of the sixty-nine honey samples analyzed, or fifty nine percent (59 %), had glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (15 ng/g) with a concentration range between 17 and 163 ng/g and a mean of 64 ng/g.”

  5. Ib Borup Pedersen February 12, 2015 at 21:43 - Reply

    It is sad news, as honey is considered a healthy and good tasting product from nature. The levels harvested from GMO areas has even got high enough levels of glyphosate to actually work as selektive antibiotics. Unfortuantly leaving the good bugs dead, and bugs like Clostridia, streptokok and the like to thrive,

    If the research also had takeninto consideration levels of nicotiniods, a similar picture would have unfolded, as GMO seeds are all coted vith these insekticides, but who cares, no Authoritys has asked for testing for harm from these products, alone or in combination.

  6. M February 12, 2015 at 21:47 - Reply

    I have been very sick for over a year with multiple gastrointestinal problems, I’ve been diagnosed with IBS, CROHNS S disease and put through so many tests it’s amazing I’m still here. After becoming bed ridden and having lost most of my body mass weighing 93 lbs. I discovered I had become severely sensitive to any food containing pesticide or gmo. I kept journal of everything I ate or drank. I am now 100% organic, gaining weight and feel better than I have in years. For me the biggest culprit was Folger coffee. Within 24 hrs of changing coffee, all my stomach issues went away completely. All these researchers and scientists on the fence regarding the safety of pesticide use are neck and neck with nazi experimentation.

    • Ed Hutchison March 1, 2015 at 20:56 - Reply

      You may want to avoid the following: Wheat, gluetin, soy oil, vegitable oil, Potato starch, buckwheat, all Oats, Regular Blueberries, and Strawberries. and now apparently Honey. Also avoid presevatives, nitrates, all non organic meat, and go easy on the non organic dairy.

  7. Apul_MadeeqAoud February 12, 2015 at 23:53 - Reply

    The study repeatedly refers to whether the samples were above or below the “limit of quantification” – The LOQ is the limit at which we can reasonably tell the difference between two different values.

    In other words, the study shows there is some glyphosate in those foods but does not refer at all to whether those limits are within the allowable limits set by the FDA, whether those quantities are dangerous, etc.

    Its a measurement but it doesn’t tell you anything really meaningful.

    • Russ February 16, 2015 at 09:58 - Reply

      Well, EPA limits aren’t meaningful other than as a gauge of how much poison the corporations expect to sell, since the EPA mechanically raises the levels in response to corporate petitions. Public health and environmental factors play zero role in this mechanical process. So far as I know there are no FDA limits. The FDA punts and dogmatically declares pesticide residues not to be a food additive, even though they self-evidently are.

      To find meaningful measures of glyphosate’s health effects at various concentrations, you need to look to the independent studies which have been done. Here’s a good place to start, and there’s been many more good studies since then.

  8. GMOsRfakeScience February 13, 2015 at 06:39 - Reply

    Thank you, Sustainable Pulse, for your relentless work on GMOs and your uncovering of the fake science which supports the GMO corporate religion.

    And let us not forget that this IS a religion, one that has high priests (the Captains of the GMO industry and the “scientists” which concoct the GMO voodoo sauces), the missionary work forces (the extensive propaganda network of shills and yes men), and the sacrificial animals (the America People).

  9. Susan Rudnicki February 13, 2015 at 18:31 - Reply

    I am a urban beekeeper in Los Angeles, used feral, Africanized bees taken from situations of conflict with humans in the city. What you do not understand it that bees will forage up to five miles in a circle around their home hive. They are WILD creatures—we do not control them. “organic” is simply a regulated term that prohibits use of chemicals IN THE HIVE for treating for varroa mites and diseases. However, even that standard has recently been eroded by the action of Big Ag members on the Nat’l Organics Standards Board to allow formic acid in “organic” honey production. What the media is failing miserably to convey to readers is the usage of cocktails of chemicals to beat back the invasive (SE Asia) pest, varroa mite, in the hives of the most widely used, heavily genetically selected and weak, European Honey Bee. I NEVER treat my bees and they exhibit strong naturally acquired resistance to Varroa mites—their African genetics is largely responsible for this. You need to widen your reading on the issues of bees and honey and beekeeping practices. The major media is terrible.

  10. bradan rua February 13, 2015 at 19:05 - Reply

    TX too for this. As near as I can arrange it, my food/ fuel intake is nature pure. I’ve been zeroing in on allergies and have almost narrowed mine down to honey. However I’m beginning to think the allergy is more likely to be the glyphosate within my own honey. Although I live on the Atlantic Coast of Ireland, I believe that pesticides and herbicides are almost everywhere. Is there any simple way of testing for glyphosate in one’s own honey? Or do the pennsylvania researchers offer a service?

  11. Anonymous February 13, 2015 at 22:32 - Reply

    No wonder I get so drastically ill at the tiniest ingestion of conventional soy sauce. As a celiac I’ve avoided it because of the wheat ingredient. But I’ve known there was something else to it to have so much more of an effect on me than exposure to other gluten containing products…

  12. Michael Marshall February 14, 2015 at 02:41 - Reply

    I have a few questions if you don’t mind. Every graph in this paper has the Y axis labeled in ug as ug/ml, ug/g, and so on. yet the figure titles all state that the units are in ng not ug? that’s a thousand -fold difference, is it not?

    The second question involves the choice the ELISA technique to quantitate the residues. At such low amounts, one would think that the possibility for errors due to cross-reacting material would be substantial, yet I didn’t see much by way of assurances that this possibility had been allowed for? Did I miss something? Thanks

  13. Lyn Scherer February 17, 2015 at 19:06 - Reply

    So important to know what we are ingesting.

  14. Bruce Smith February 24, 2015 at 06:36 - Reply

    Glyphosate is widespread through the food chain and in all countries on earth. I recommend you look at the work done by Prof. Don Humber, a Emeritus Professor and internationally recognised expert on nutrient – disease interactions, Prof. Eric Seralini Professor of Molecular Biology at the University of Caen and President of the scientific council of CRIIGEN. He has published the longest and most detailed study on a GMO with its related pesticide, Roundup, on mammalian health and numerous other studies and Dr. Vandana Shiva, she founded the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology.
    According to the work of Prof. Seralini Glyphosate by itself has a relatively low toxicity level but when the other ingredients are added to make roundup, it toxicity increases 1056 times. Monsanto does not have to declare these other inputs only the principle ingredient which is Glyphosate, therefore they can say it is relatively safe to human health and the environment. We are being poisoned on a daily basis.

  15. susan February 25, 2015 at 08:39 - Reply

    It should be noted that there is not much edge to health by purchasing organic honey. Bees that are raised from any hive that is within 10 miles (and can be higher) of a farm that uses pesticides will have contamination. Colony collapse is only one isdue I believe that has arisen from pesticides and gmos. The comsumer should not think purchasing organic will protect them from ingesting pesticides or other contaminates. Buy your honey from one that keeps their bees far away from latge undustrial farms. There are beekeepers that rent their bees to farms but do not pay attention to whats being sprayed on the crops. Some bees are covered when spraying happens but that will not keep cross contamination from happening. Know what you are buying, and know a label staing organic does not mean a whole lot in terms of pesticides.

  16. yvonneforsman March 4, 2015 at 11:51 - Reply

    I used to have drumming sound in my left ear which disappeared when I stopped eating gluten foods (flour foods). I still had a high pitch sound in my right ear but it went away when I cut out sugar foods like store bought ice cream. Then I thought maybe it’s not only sugar but also glyphosate and stuff in the ice cream causing me the tinnitus. So I decided to make my own homemade ice cream with ORGANIC honey (home made kefir/yogurt, honey). To my surprise the ringing in the right ear was back. Then I read this article about glyphosate in organic honey! Who knew!!! So I made the same ice cream again but this time with agave sweetener instead of honey, and I am OKAY, no ringing in the ear! I would never have thought that my purpose in life would be for my body to turn into a radar for glyphosate! What a talent… *L*

    • yvonneforsman March 4, 2015 at 11:56 - Reply

      Btw, wheat (gluten) is not a GMO crop, yet it is treated with glyphosate which is used as a ripening agent for wheat. Obviously my body doesn’t like glyphosate.

  17. Cliff Love May 30, 2015 at 23:02 - Reply

    The creation of Round Up Ready Alfalfa will further exacerbate this problem. Alfalfa is a flowering preferential crop that bees will feed on when it is available to them. A bee has a feeding radius of up to three miles. If Round Up Ready Alfalfa is in that radius and flowering at any time during its 4 to 7 year life span the bee will most likely feed on it and you will have GMO honey.

  18. Don Rechtman September 16, 2016 at 03:31 - Reply

    Can you say “DDT”? Can you say “thalidomide”? Can you say “agent orange”? Can you say “dioxin”? Can you say “Red Number 2”? Can you say “glyphosate”? Can you say “Monsanto”?

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