by Brian Shilhavy
Health Impact News Editor
Health Impact News recently announced  the result of an investigation by Tropical Traditions that revealed that many products in the organic grain market in the U.S. contain glyphosate residue at levels almost the same as conventional grains. Read the report here .
In an effort to provide clean food free from glyphosate and GMO contamination, Tropical Traditions continues to test USDA certified organic products to determine which products may be contaminated.
USDA Organic Standards Allow for Residue of Pesticides
It should be noted that this is not a controlled scientific study, but simply an effort by Tropical Traditions to test products supplied to them for the purpose of protecting their consumers from foods contaminated by GMOs or glyphosate. Current USDA NOP standards allow for small amounts of pesticide residue, so companies selling USDA organic products with these allowable limits of GMOs or pesticides are not usually breaking any laws. The organic standards for pesticide residue can be found here .
The EPA establishes the maximum allowed levels of pesticides, or EPA tolerances, which may be present on foods. Although most EPA -registered pesticides are prohibited in organic production, there can be inadvertent or indirect contact from neighboring conventional farms or shared handling facilities. As long as the operator hasn’t directly applied prohibited pesticides and has documented efforts to minimize exposure to them, the USDA organic regulations allow for residues of prohibited pesticides at or below 5 percent of the EPA tolerance.
Therefore, the following test results produced by Tropical Traditions does not constitute a general statement regarding any particular product or its level of glyphosate residue. It is meant to make the public and organic producers aware of the issues and promote further research, as well as promote self-testing of their own products.
What was Tested and the Results
In addition to the organic grains that were tested in the last report , Tropical Traditions tested the following products:
- Organic Cane Sugar from South America
- Organic Flax Seeds from the Northwest (Dakotas/Montana region)
- Organic Almonds from California
- Organic Almonds imported from Europe
- Several Freeze Dried Fruits from the U.S. and South America
While GMO varieties exist for sugar beets, grown primarily in South America, there are currently no GMO varieties of sugar cane, allowing it to be certified as USDA organic. Tropical Traditions tested one of the largest suppliers of organic cane sugar from South America and found it to be free from any glyphosate. Please note that there are many sources of organic cane sugar, and there is no guarantee that all of them are free from glyphosate.
Tropical Traditions next tested two different sources of organic almonds, one from California and one from Europe. Surprisingly, the California almonds tested negative for glyphosate, while the European almonds tested positive for glyposate residue. There are, however, many sources of organic almonds in California, and only one source was tested. There are other sustainable issues associated with almonds grown in California. (See: How Did Almonds Surpass Peanuts as America’s Top Nut? The Dark Side of Almonds  and Are California Almonds Destroying the U.S. Bee Supply? )
Next, Tropical Traditions tested several varieties of freeze dried fruits  grown in the U.S. and South America, and they all tested to be free of glyphosate contamination. The freeze dried blueberries  tested were from Oregon.
Tests of organic flax seeds from the northwest showed contamination of .06mg/kg of glyphosate, higher than most of the wheat we had tested, and similar to levels seen for organic barely.
Encourage Producers to Test for Glyphosate!
Tropical Traditions is still in the early stages of investigating the contamination of America’s food sources. They have identified a couple of wheat sources that have tested free of glyphosate contamination: one in Wisconsin  and one in the southern region of the U.S. Tropical Traditions is encouraging organic grain mills across the U.S. to test for glyphosate, and link the tests to specific producers and specific batches. Producers who go the extra mile to ensure their products are free from GMO and glyphosate contamination are encouraged to contact Tropical Traditions and to be added to a directory of health conscious producers on their new Healthy Traditions network  which is being developed.
Tropical Traditions and the Healthy Traditions network  will be working hard, together with health-conscious producers and suppliers, to provide nutritious uncontaminated food as an alternative to commodity food that is mass produced.
About the Author
Brian Shilhavy is the Senior Editor of Health Impact News, and the owner and founder of Tropical Traditions, Inc.