Delivering the week’s top organic food news
100% Non-GMO

Expect to See More of Glyphosate-Free Certification

A trend that I have been thinking about for several years is now finally starting to gain some traction: glyphosate-free certification.

For those unfamiliar with glyphosate, here are a few, not-so-fun facts:

• Glyphosate is the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp, the company’s multi-billion dollar herbicide.

• On an annual basis, approximately 250 million pounds are used in the U.S. and 1.65 billion pounds are used globally.

• The World Health Organization said that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen,” which means that it probably causes cancer.

• Tests have shown that 93% of Americans have glyphosate in their bodies at an average level of 3.096 parts per billion (PPB). In contrast, Europeans have 1 PPB.

• In an excellent report by Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project, it was shown the many, many popular foods had very high levels of glyphosate. The report, which gives information on allowable levels for certain foods, also said that new scientific evidence shows that probable harm to human health could begin at ultra-low levels of glyphosate, 0.1 parts per billions.

Given all of this information, it only seems logical that organic food companies would want their customers to know that their products are not tainted with this highly toxic chemical. Heavenly Organics became the first organic honey to be awarded Glyphosate Free Certified by BioChecked, which requires a zero tolerance threshold for glyphosate.

“We hope this partnership with BioChecked brings even more awareness to the use of pesticides and how they are having a negative impact on human health, the environment, and bee colonies worldwide,” said Amit Hooda, Co-Founder and CEO of Heavenly Organics.

The logical question that other organic food companies may be asking themselves is whether they should pursue this certification as well. And here is where it gets complicated.

As per by Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project’s report, even organic brands are contaminated with glyphosate, despite the fact that this chemical is prohibited in organic regulations.

With glyphosate-free certification only going to grow in popularity, organic food companies should be having internal discussions as to how they want to proceed with this matter.

Two final points:

1) Sometime within the next few weeks, another organization will be announcing its own glyphosate certification program. From what I am hearing, this entity will be launching with very significant support from key players in the organic industry.

More to come on this soon, as I will be speaking with this organization’s CEO tomorrow.

2) The fact that our food supply is so tainted with this toxic chemical should create alarm among our politicians. But it isn’t.

As I shared with you recently here, there are allegations that the EPA is trying to protect glyphosate (Monsanto), all to the detriment of the health of the American people.

With the Trump Administration wanting to cut the EPA budget by 24%, it is unrealistic to think that a crackdown will come from our government any time soon.

Therefore, the fight against glyphosate may need to come from consumers and be market-driven. Stay tuned.


Have a fantastic day!

Max Goldberg, Founder

This Week's News Items

Weekly News Summaries

First Course
Food Ingredients 1st

Kashi Expands its Transitional Certified Line

By Elizabeth Kenward

In a move to further support farmers who are transitioning to organic, Kashi has just rolled out a new line of Transitional Certified nut butter bars.

The Wall Street Journal (paywall)

As Organic Food Sales Explode, Grain Prices are Plunging

By Jacob Bunge

A massive influx of organic grains from abroad have resulted in 20-30% price declines in corn and soy. American farmers are crying foul, alleging fraud.

La Crosse Tribune

Organic Farmers Association Debuts at MOSES Conference

By Mike Tighe

At the MOSES Organic Farming Conference in Wisconsin, Jim Riddle introduced and spoke about the progress with the Organic Farmers Association. This organization is badly needed in our industry. Organic farmers need their own voice of representation in Washington, D.C.

GM Watch

GMO 'Golden Rice' Encountering More Problems

GMO 'Golden Rice' is again proving to be not the savior that the chemical industry would like us to believe. New data is showing stunted and delayed growth along with a drop in yields. No surprise this crop is having additional problems.

Second Course

How Happy Tree Leverages Data to Refine Its Strategy

An interesting look at how organic maple water company Happy Tree uses data to become more efficient and make better decisions.

Times of India

Who Knew? Using WhatApp Groups to Sell Organic Vegetables

By Shubhra Pantl

In India, farmers are using WhatsApp groups to sell their organic fruits and vegetables. What's even more impressive is that their prices are 50% less than their conventional counterparts.

Third Course

Organic Baby Food Meal Kit Delivery Service Launches

By Lora Kolodny

Founded by a fellow Brown University alum, Thistle has expanded from cold-pressed juices and prepared meals to organic baby food meal kits.


Starbucks to Close Remaining Evolution Fresh Juice Bars

By Daniela Galarza

New Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson has decided to shutter its remaining two Evolution Fresh locations. I remember visiting the one in San Francisco a few years ago, and it was a very well-executed operation.


Sun Basket Raises Another $15M to Increase Offerings

By Lora Kolodny

Organic meal kit delivery service Sun Basket has just closed a $15M Series C to expand into the paleo and gluten-free categories.

Max's Pick of the Week

Very few CEOs in organic are doing more to fight climate change than Nutiva CEO John Roulac. In his op-ed piece, John discusses why the natural products industry must do its part.

The material in this newsletter is copyrighted and may be reprinted by permission only. All requests must be in writing. Please use our contact form to request republication rights.

Share This Newsletter

Share This

Search Newsletter Archive

Newsletter Archive

This Week's Quick Hits

Quick Hits

* A few weeks ago, I talked about the importance of organic food companies getting serious about their e-commerce strategies. Apparently, Big Food is beginning to see the light, as evidenced by what Campbell Soup is doing.

* On Living Maxwell, I put up the first installment of my new monthly column called New & Noteworthy in Organic.

Newsletter Topics

Organic Insider