Round-Up has taken quite a beating in the press lately. It’s an incredibly safe and effective herbicide. But its close association with genetically-modified crops (not to mention Monsanto) made it a target for activist groups and organizations. So while farmers find the herbicide an important and useful crop-protection tool, the general public hears a different story.
The negative headlines started with IARC’s baseless conclusion that glyphosate, Round-Up’s active ingredient, is a “probable carcinogen.” Then it was the Round-Up lawsuits and large jury verdicts against Monsanto. And EWG’s ridiculous claims that Round-Up residue is in much of our food, especially breakfast items.
So it comes as no surprise that consumers worry about Round-Up. And we live in a time when companies are more than happy to capitalize on fear, anxiety, and concern.
Hello, The Detox Project! It’s now selling a glyphosate-free certification for interested companies! A company simply pays an annual fee, provides produce samples to a laboratory, and slaps the friendly label on its packaging. Happy customers, happy bottom line!
TDP entices companies to participate by referencing all the negative coverage about glyphosate. And it acknowledges consumer worries. TDP even suggests the glyphosate-free label will be more popular than The Non-GMO Project.
I find the comparison quite ironic. NGP label has been roundly criticized because it doesn’t necessarily mean a product is “gmo-free.” And shoppers will often see the label on products that don’t have genetically-modified counterparts, like strawberries or olives. Worse, companies pay NGP to put the label on items that don’t even contain DNA, like salt and kitty litter.
TDP’s glyphosate-free certifications is similarly dishonest.
Here’s why: eaters don’t need to worry about pesticide-residue, glyphosate or otherwise, on their produce. The USDA, EPA, and FDA heavily regulate pesticide use in the United States. So farmers are trained to apply these chemicals in a way that promotes food safety and environmental protection.
And the USDA annually tests produce to make sure consumers aren’t exposed to risks from pesticide residue. The results always show the same thing: the risk from pesticide residue is negligible. If you’re still worried, simply washing your produce for a few seconds with running water will eliminate any remote risks.
So that’s why I say a glyphosate-free label is an even bigger scam than the Non-GMO Project. Because all produce is essentially glyphosate-free. At the very least, there are genetically-modified crops. So NGP’s label is meaningful in a limited number of circumstances. Glyphosate-free is always meaningless.
The Detox Project’s glyphosate-free certification only has about 30 products currently. I hope it stays that way for the sake of truth and honesty.