Organisations such as the WHO’s International Agency for Research of Cancer have said glysophate is carcinogenic to humans
Sabinsa is offering glyphosate test results to customers, using a proprietary method for testing glyphosate developed by scientists at parent company Sami-Sabinsa.
In October they began testing for residual herbicide in 20 nutraceutical ingredients as a routine practice, along with all other USP listed pesticides, and are widening the scope to all products the company sells. Spices must be below 7 ppm and herbs below 0.2 ppm.
“The method development of these products is very challenging and time consuming, requiring skilled techniques,” said Sabinsa founder and chairman Dr Muhammed Majeed. “Given Sabinsa’s mission to improve human health, confirming purity of the materials we sell makes sense.”
Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds and grasses, and has been registered as a pesticide in the US since 1974. It is also used to dry crops out before harvesting, speeding up maturation. It is often used with GMO crops, many of which were designed to withstand its toxicity.
Initial industry testing reported a low toxicity for glyphosate in mammals, leading regulatory authorities worldwide to set high acceptable exposure limits. However, in the intervening years, additional information has raised profound concerns with many organisations and consumers as to its safety. In addition to cancer causing properties, it kills honeybees by reducing their gut bacteria, leaving them vulnerable to pathogens and premature death.
The residue definition for glyphosate in wheat for the US and the EU requires measuring the amount of glyphosate in the product. Codex, on the other hand, requires also measuring the amount of N-acetylglyphosate, which is a metabolite of glyphosate; Australia requires glyphosate, N-acetylglyphosate, and AMPA (another metabolite).
Sabinsa analyses both glyphosate and also its major metabolite AMPA. The total of these two is reported as glyphosate. Glyphosate rapidly gets converted to AMPA after absorption in soil, which is why Sabinsa’s scientists decided to monitor AMPA as well.