Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the accurate name of Heavenly Organics.
- Heavenly Organics, a manufacturer of organic, raw, pesticide and antibiotic-free honey from wild bee hives, has met the BioChecked ZERO Tolerance Standard. Its white, neem and acacia honey are now Glyphosate Free Certified, according to a news release.
- Last year, the company says all American honey samples — including organic brands — tested by the Food and Drug Administration contained glyphosate. Some residue levels were double the amount allowed in the European Union; there is no "maximum residue limit" for glyphosate found in U.S. honey.
- The World Health Organization considers glyphosate, a widely used herbicide and the main ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup weed killer, to be a probable human carcinogen.
As demand for natural, organic and healthy products grows, consumers are looking for natural alternatives to sugar. Because of this, they are buying more products like honey and agave nectar to sweeten tea, cakes and oatmeal, driving competition between producers.
Consumer trust in organic products have incited fear over all things chemical, and glyphosate found in Roundup weed killer has been the target of health organizations' anti-pesticide campaigns for the past few years. There have been long and protracted debates and research into whether the popular weed killer is carcinogenic, but they have either been inconclusive or found that it does not cause cancer.
Adding to the controversy, a California judge tentatively ruled last week that the pesticide's manufacturer Monsanto must label Roundup as a possible cancer threat. Monsanto has pushed back, calling the state's proposal to include the label "flawed and baseless" and contradicting California's scientific assessment of the chemical. Monsanto said it will continue to fight the ruling.
Regardless of glyphosate's actual health risks, the controversy surrounding the chemical will likely continue to discourage consumers from buying non-organic products. Eliminating glyphosate residue from product formulas could be a lucrative strategy for natural product manufacturers looking to edge out their competition.