Honey Tainted With Herbicide


Honey tainted with the herbicide glyphosate has been uncovered. Researchers at pharmaceutical company Abraxis and Boston University found the world’s most popular weed killer in many brands of the product as well as soy sauce, corn syrup and pancake mixes in stores in the Philadelphia area.

Glyphosate is used to control woods on crop lands and was found in varying amounts in all different types of honey. In 69 samples, 59 percent had an average glyphosate level of 64 parts per billion. Fifteen parts per billion is the industry standard.

Organic brands of the natural sweetener did not fare much better. Five of the 11 brands of organic sweetener tested contained 50 parts per billion of the contaminant. Fifty-eight percent of non-organic brand samples contained 66 parts per billion. Additionally, glyphosate was found in different food products, but its level in honey shocked the testers.

To hear farmers tell it, they really have no choice. It is either use dangerous herbicides such as glyphosate, better known by its brand name Round-Up, or let the weeds take over all of the crops. Many farmers all over America have been battling ‘superweed’ Palmer Amaranth, but have come up on the losing end. The weed grows fast and tall, leaving millions of seeds in its tracts. Most concerning is that over time, the weed is becoming tolerant to the glyphosate previously used to control it. Farmers have no choice but to use even more of the herbicide than what is recommended.

Scientists at the Union of Concerned Scientists do not see honey being tainted with herbicide as a solution. They portend that using more than the recommended amount of herbicide will only speed up a crop’s weed resistance. Sometimes farmer admit that they turn to using older chemicals that may pose even more harm than glyphosate.

Palmer Amaranth

Of all the sweeteners on the market, those passionate about healthy foods have preferred honey to all others. Aspartame contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Agave is 90 percent fructose, which makes it unsuitable for diabetics. Sucralose is processed with chlorine, which cannot be broken down in the human body. Sugar is full of pesticides and rots the teeth. High fructose corn syrups store fat in the liver, while squelching the hormone leptin so that you never feel full. Thankfully newer sweeteners such as stevia and xylitol have managed to cut the muster; honey is a sweetener that has been used since the antiquities.

An alternative to purchasing mass-marked honey brands tainted with a dangerous herbicide would be to purchase only local raw organic kinds. Organic honey does have a bit of fructose, but it also boasts a considerable amount of antioxidants. Bee keepers suggest those bothered by allergies use only honey local to their area because it can tame the sniffles and sneezes. Its low glycemic level makes it a boon to diabetics. Maple syrup and blackstrap molasses will also work in a pinch. Both of these liquid sweeteners are chock-full of nutrients and antioxidants which help the body fight disease. They will make a great alternative to the many brands of commercially produced honey in the stores. The study did not proffer specific brands, but herbicides will likely not be found in honey that is locally produced without the use of harmful pesticides and  chemicals.

By Danielle Branch


USA Today

Sustainable Pulse

Rodale News

Photo by Bionicgrrrl – License

Photo by University of Delaware – License

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