Food label claims have become about as rare as air molecules. Seemingly, every food item in the grocery store is either free range, free run, humanely raised, organic, GMO-free and of course, gluten-free.
But a label officially launched in March and now on the market might generate more controversy than any of the previous claims.
Yesterday, Leaf & Love Lemonade, made by a California company, became the first product in America to be certified as “Glyphosate Residue Free.”
Leaf & Love Lemonade announced the new label claim in a YouTube video.
The Detox Project, a research and certification program that campaigns against glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, is behind the Glyphosate Residue Free label.
It unveiled the labelling program March 19 as a way for consumers to avoid residues of the most popular herbicide in the world.
“Glyphosate Residue Free certification enables food manufacturers to give consumers what they really want – glyphosate residue free food,” said Henry Rowlands, Detox Project director. “Consumers have the right to know what toxic chemicals are in the food they buy at grocery stores across the U.S.”
The verified products may not be completely free of glyphosate. Residues must be .1 to 20 parts per billion, depending on the food.
The Detox Project, on its website, says that glyphosate can have toxic effects on humans, such as causing cancer, birth defects, damage to DNA and disruption of hormonal systems.
Many toxicologists and almost all regulatory agencies have rejected such claims. The European Food Safety Authority, the United Nations’ World Health Organization, Health Canada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other national bodies have studied the risk and said the herbicide doesn’t cause cancer or other health problems.
In mid-March, yet another group of scientists, the European Chemicals Agency, said direct contact can cause eye damage and chronic exposure poses a risk to aquatic life. However, glyphosate isn’t carcinogenic to humans.
“The available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria … to classify glyphosate for specific target organ toxicity, or as a carcinogen, as a mutagen or for reproductive toxicity.”
Amy Dibianca, co-founder of Leaf & Love Lemonade, told SustainablePulse.com that she signed up for the labelling program because she wants to sell a safe product.
“Having the peace of mind that our product is free of a potentially dangerous pesticide residue is just as important as knowing the ingredients are organic and natural.”
Dibianca’s decision to adopt the label could generate media attention because she is a celebrity.
She has appeared in dozens of TV shows, usually in an episode or two, on series like Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, NCIS, Code Black and CSI.