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Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

‘Pure’ Fiction?

OCA and our allies at Beyond Pesticides sued the maker of Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s honey brands for labeling their products “Pure” and “100% Pure” when in fact those products test positive for glyphosate, the active (and ubiquitous) ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide.

We know what you’re thinking. Honey comes from bees, and beekeepers don’t spray their hives with Roundup—so how did glyphosate end up in honey?

As organic farmers have been alleging for years, glyphosate doesn’t just land where it’s sprayed, end of story. It drifts—into places where it’s not wanted. Including maybe, nearby properties owned by beekeepers?

Bill Huser, vice president of Sioux Honey (owner of the Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s brands) shared his theory with USRTK’s Carey Gillam, who first reported on the glyphosate-in-honey story in a September 9 article in the Huffington Post. According to Gillam, Huser said glyphosate is commonly used on farm fields frequented by bees, and the pesticide travels back with the bees to the hives where the honey is produced.

That’s bad news for beekeepers. And bad news for consumers.

How do we know Sue Bee and Aunt Sue’s honey is contaminated with glyphosate? The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), under increasing pressure to start testing food for glyphosate residue on food, found it. And Gillam found out, through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). From the Huffington Post again: 

In examining honey samples from various locations in the United States, the FDA has found fresh evidence that residues of the weed killer called glyphosate can be pervasive - found even in a food that is not produced with the use of glyphosate. All of the samples the FDA tested in a recent examination contained glyphosate residues, and some of the honey showed residue levels double the limit allowed in the European Union, according to documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. There is no legal tolerance level for glyphosate in honey in the United States.

We sympathize with the beekeepers. We also encourage them to join with consumers in pressuring the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to get busy and ban this carcinogenic endocrine-disrupting chemical. Now.

Read the press release 

Read the formal complaint 

More here

TAKE ACTION: Tell EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy: Quit Stalling. Ban Glyphosate Now! 

Support OCA’s truth and transparency in labeling work (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

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