We Found Glyphosate in Organic Cinnamon

 

Yes, you read that right. Two years ago, we found glyphosate in the organic cinnamon we bought to use in our products. That’s why now we periodically test all ZEGO’s ingredients for this leading chemical in Round Up (created by Monsanto and now owned by it parent company Bayer), even our organic ones. And before anyone jumps to accuse us of using this as a marketing ploy, let me assure you we aren’t talking about a few parts per billion (PPB) of residue, we measured what most people would consider to be an extraordinary amount even for a conventional product, close to 50 parts per million (PPM).

 

Here is the story. A few years ago when the test for glyphosate was pretty new, The Detox Project was looking for American companies to become glyphosate-free certified. One of my colleagues from my days as a nutrition advocate connected us. I knew glyphosate was the most common herbicide used in the world, and it had been banned as a possible carcinogen in many countries and regions, so I definitely wanted to take advantage of this new test to see if there was glyphosate in our products.

 

At the time, ZEGO made only our nutrition bars (we now make oats, muesli, protein powder and Mix-Ins as well). Our Just Fruit and Fruit+Chia bars are conventional but our Seed+Fruit bars are organic. I assumed our organic ingredients would be fine, but wasn’t sure what we would find in our conventional fruits. We deliberately source our fruit from the Pacific Northwest because farmers in that region tend to use fewer chemical on their crops. This is due in part because their hard winters kill off many of their weeds which makes herbicides less necessary.  Still, I was anxious to see if our theory would hold and those results would be clean. But, when the results came back, though, I was nonplussed.

 

Of everything we tested, it wasn’t the fruit we needed to worry about at all. It was the organic cinnamon! It was the equivalent of approximately ten times the glyphosate (nearly 50PPM or parts per million) you would expect to find in GMO soy (by some measures 5PPM), a crop genetically modified so you can douse it with Round Up. Whether you think the 3rd party glyphosate test results that have been published recently by EWG, CEH, Food Democracy Now and the resent beer and wine study showing measurements of <10PPB-1PPM are levels worthy of concern, 50PPM should rise above anyone’s threshold. Note we are talking about billions v. millions, a thousand fold difference. That’s an extraordinary amount of glyphosate. And, some people eating cinnamon straight to help regulate their blood sugars–just imagine how much they were ingesting daily if using this brand. So when activists like Robyn O’Brien and bloggers like Leah Segedie of Mamavation intrepidly cover glyphosate in food, pay attention. This story has just started — the giant is awakening.

 

Luckily, at the time we were very small so we did not have many bars that were produced with that batch of cinnamon, so that was easy to address. We also immediately got rid of all the cinnamon from that company, alerted them to our test results. I asked them to get back to me and let me know if they found the source of the problem and were able to remedy it. They never did. So, we researched and tested another company, Spicely, whose organic cinnamon tested clean. We still use that brand today and I am so grateful for their diligence and commitment to purity.

 

There was something curious about the tests that I wanted to follow up on though. The Detox Project explained that the glyphosate level on the cinnamon we tested couldn’t have been caused by drift or contaminated waterways. It was too high. And, the test showed the glyphosate had not deteriorated into it’s half life yet, which is does fairly quickly. That meant it likely was sprayed on the cinnamon post-harvest as a drying agent.

 

Worse yet, I found out that this is a not uncommon practice in the spice industry. Spices are sometimes dried in the sun and in some cases, glyphosate is sprayed on to dry spices out faster than the sun would do on its own. In the organic industry, this is fraud. In conventional food, you might be greed or irresponsibility, or it could be lack of knowledge by the processor of the health problems that may be created or aggravated by this chemical.

 

It doesn’t matter what you call it. What matters is that consumers know about it and have the ability to control their exposure to glyphosate, or any other toxins — chemicals or heavy metals — that could be in their food and water.

 

At ZEGO, we think that consumers have a right to know what chemicals are in their food. That’s why we not only test for glyphosate but over 400 additional agricultural chemicals and heavy metals like lead (in crops with historic problems with metal contamination) and post the results for consumers to see through the QR code on each ZEGO package. We offer this on every product we make, from oats to muesli to protein powder to trail mix to bars.

 

 

There have been many articles already in 2019 asking what “clean” food is. Instead of arguing over a marketing term, companies should practice being clean and be transparent about with their data to show if their measure taken to be “clean” are resulting in cleaner products. Whatever the results, the consumer should be allowed to decide if the product is clean enough for them. After all, some people won’t be concerned if there is 10PPB or even 5PPM of glyphosate in a food. But shouldn’t companies be providing that information so consumers can make that decision for themselves? Shouldn’t consumers have that peace of mind?

 

No, “clean” will not suffer the ambiguity “natural” has in marketing, as some have asked, because clean is measurable. And, measurement is the first step toward improvement. The more companies who measure and report how clean their products are, the more they will ask their supply chain for cleaner food, and the cleaner our food system will become. Cleaner food, cleaner people, cleaner farmworkers, cleaner fields, cleaner planet. Join us in the measurable clean food revolution.


Colleen Kavanagh is the founder and CEO of ZEGO. ZEGO is the first purity-transparent food company, making superfood products with traceable transparency designed to be safe for most all people to eat regardless of dietary restrictions like common allergies, intolerances or diabetes. ZEGO makes oats, muesli, protein powder, Mix-ins and nutrition bars. It is certified as a B Corp and as Women Owned.

 San Francisco, CA

 

www.zegofoods.com

info@zegosnacks.com

#poweredbyzego

 

 

 

Here are the 400+ chemicals ZEGO tests for in its products.

  • 4,4′-Dichlorobenzophen
  • Abamectin
  • Acephate
  • Acequinocyl
  • Acetamiprid (SP)
  • Acetochior
  • Alachlor
  • Aldicarb (SP)
  • Aldicarb (Sum)
  • Aldicarb-sulfone
  • Aldicarb-sulfoxide
  • Aldrin (SP)
  • Ametryn
  • Amitraz (SP)
  • Atrazine
  • Azadirachtin
  • Azamethiphos
  • Azinphos-ethyl
  • Azinphos-methyl
  • Azoxystrobin
  • Benalaxyl (SP)
  • Ben-Carb-TPM (Sum)
  • Bendiocarb
  • Benfluralin
  • Benomyl-Carbendazim
  • Bentazone (SP)
  • Bentazone-methyl
  • Benthiavalicarb-isopropyl
  • Bifenazate
  • Bifenthrin
  • Bifenazate
  • Bifenthrin
  • Bioallethrin
  • Biphenyl
  • Bitertanol
  • Boscalid
  • Bromacil
  • Bromophos-methyl
  • Bromopropylate
  • Bromuconazole
  • Bupirimate (SP)
  • Buprofezin
  • Butralin
  • Cadusafos
  • Captan
  • Captan (Sum)
  • Carbaryl
  • Carbofuran (SP)
  • Carbofuran-3-hydroxy
  • Carbophenothion
  • Carbosulfan
  • Carboxin
  • Carfentrazone-ethyl
  • Chinomethionat
  • Chlorantraniliprole
  • Chlorfluazuron
  • Chlordane
  • Chlordane Cis
  • Chlordane Trans
  • Chlorfenapyr
  • Chlorfenson
  • Chlorfenvinphos
  • Chlorfluazuron
  • Chloridazon
  • Chlorobenzilate
  • Chloropropylate
  • Chlorothalonil
  • Chlorotoluron
  • Chlorpropham (SP)
  • Chlorpyrifos-ethyl
  • Chlorpyrifos-methyl
  • Chlorthal-dimethyl (DCPA)
  • Chlozolinate
  • Clethodim
  • Clethodim (Sum)
  • Clofentezine
  • Clomazone
  • Clothianidin (SP)
  • Coumaphos
  • Cyantraniliprole
  • Cyazofamid
  • Cycloate
  • Cycloxydim (SP)
  • Cyflufenamid
  • Cyflumetofen
  • Cymoxanil
  • Cyromazine
  • Cyfluthrin
  • Cyproconazole
  • Cyprodinil
  • DDD-o,p
  • DDD-pp+DDT-op
  • DDE-o,p
  • DDE-p,p
  • DDT (Sum)
  • DDT-p,p
  • DEET
  • Deltamethrin
  • Demeton (SP)
  • Demeton-S-methyl-sulfone
  • Desmedipham
  • Dialifos
  • Diazinon
  • Dichlobenil
  • Dichlofenthion
  • Diclobutrazol
  • Dichlormid
  • Dichloroprop
  • Dichlorvos
  • Diclofop-methyl
  • Dicloran
  • Dicofol (SUM)
  • Dicrotophos
  • Dieldrin (SP)
  • Dieldrin (Sum)
  • Diethofencarb
  • Difenocanazole
  • Diflubenzuron
  • Diflufenican
  • Dimethoate (SP)
  • Dimethoate (Sume)
  • Dimethomorph
  • Dinocap (SP)
  • Dinotefuran
  • Diniconazole
  • Diphenylamine
  • Disulfoton
  • Disulfoton (Sum)
  • Disulfoton-sulfone
  • Disulfoton-sulfoxide
  • Ditalimfos
  • Diuron
  • Dodemorph
  • Dodine
  • Emamectin
  • Endosulfan (A+B+Sulf)
  • Endosulfan Alfa
  • Endosulfan Beta
  • Endosulfan Sulfate
  • Endrin
  • EPN
  • Epoxiconazole
  • EPTC
  • Ethalfluralin
  • Ethiofencarb
  • Ethiofencarb sulfoxide
  • Ethion
  • Ethiprole
  • Ethirimol
  • Ethofumesate (SP)
  • Ethoprophos
  • Ethoxyquin
  • Etridiazol
  • Etrimfos
  • Fenarimol
  • Fenazaquin
  • Fenitrothion
  • Fenoxycarb
  • Fenpropathrin
  • Fenthion (SP)
  • Fenthion-sulfone
  • Fenthion-sulfoxide
  • Fenvalerate+Esfenvalerate
  • Fipronil Sulfide
  • Flonicamid (SP)
  • Fluazifop-butyl
  • Fluazifop-P
  • Fluzinam
  • Flucythrinate
  • Flubendiamide
  • Fludioxonil
  • Flufenacet
  • Flufenoxuron
  • Flumeturon
  • Flupyradifurone
  • Fluopicolide
  • Fluopyram
  • Fluquincanazol
  • Fluotrimazole
  • Flusilazole
  • Flutolanil
  • Flutriafol
  • Fluxapyroxad
  • Folpet
  • Folpet (Sum)
  • Fonofos
  • Forchlorfenuron
  • Formetanate
  • Formothion
  • Fosthiazate
  • Fuberidazole
  • Furalaxyl
  • Furathiocarb
  • Glyphosate
  • Haloxyfop
  • Haloxyfop (Sum)
  • Haloxyfop-2-ethoxyethyl
  • Haloxyfop-methyl
  • Heptachlor (SP)
  • Hexachlorobenzene
  • Hexaclorobutadiene
  • Hexaconazole
  • Hexaflumuron
  • Hexythiazox
  • Imazalil
  • Imidacloprid (SP)
  • Indaziflam
  • Indoxacarb
  • Isocarbophos
  • Iprodione
  • Isoprothiolane
  • Isoproturon
  • Isoprothiolane
  • Isoproturon
  • Isoxaben
  • Iprovalicarb
  • Isazofos
  • Isofenphos
  • Isophenfos-methyl
  • Kresoxim-methyl
  • Lambda-Cyhalothrin
  • Lenacile
  • Lindane
  • Linuron
  • Lufenuron
  • Malathion (SP)
  • Mandipropamid
  • Mecarbam
  • Mepanipyrim (SP)
  • Mepronil
  • Metalaxyl-M (Mefenoxam)
  • Metaflumizone
  • Metamitron
  • Metazachlor
  • Metconazole
  • Methacrifos
  • Methamidophos
  • Methiocarb (Sum)
  • Methiocarb sulfone
  • Methiocarb sulfoxide
  • Methidathion
  • Methomyl (SP)
  • Methomyl (Sum)
  • Methoxychlor
  • Methyloxyfenozide
  • Metolachor
  • Metocarb
  • Metoxuron
  • Metrafenone
  • Metribuzin
  • Mevinphos
  • Mirex
  • Molinate
  • Monocrotophos
  • Monolinuron
  • Myclobutanil
  • Naled (SP)
  • Naled (Sum)
  • Napropamide
  • Nitenpyram
  • Norflurazon
  • Nuarimol
  • Ofurace
  • o-Phenylphenol
  • Oxadixyl
  • Oxyfluorfen
  • p,p’ Dicofol
  • Paraoxon-ethyl
  • Paraoxon-methyl
  • Parathion-ethyl (Sum)
  • Parathion-methyl (SP)
  • Parathion-methyl (Sum)
  • Penconazole
  • Pendimethalin
  • Pentachloroaniline
  • Pentachloroanisole
  • Pentachlorobenzene
  • Permethrin
  • Phenchlorphos
  • Phenthoate
  • Phosalone
  • Phosphamidon
  • Phorate sulfone
  • Phorate sulfoxide
  • Phosmet (SP)
  • Phthalimide (Folpert)
  • Picoxystrobin
  • Piperonyl butoxide
  • Pirimicarb (SP)
  • Pirimiphos-ethyl
  • Pirimiphos-methyl
  • Prochloraz (SP)
  • Procymidone
  • Profenofos
  • Profluralin
  • Promecarb
  • Prometryn
  • Promecarb
  • Propamocarb
  • Propachlor
  • Propanil
  • Propaquizafop
  • Propargite
  • Propham
  • Propiconazole
  • Propoxur
  • Propyzamide
  • Prothiofos
  • Proquinazid
  • Prosulfocarb
  • Prothioconazole
  • Pyrazophos
  • Pymetrozine
  • Pyraclostrobin
  • Pyraflufen-ethyl
  • Pyridaben
  • Pyridalyl
  • Pyridaphenthion
  • Pyridate
  • Pyrifenox
  • Pyrimethanil
  • Pyriproxyfen
  • Quinalphos
  • Quinoxyfen
  • Quintozene (Pentachloronitrobenze)
  • Quintozene (Sum)
  • Quizalofop (SP)
  • Rotenone
  • Simazine
  • Saflufenacil
  • Sethoxydim
  • Spinetoram
  • Spinosad (A + D)
  • Spirodiclofen
  • Spiromesifen
  • Spirotetramat (SP)
  • Spiroxamine
  • Sulfotep
  • Sulfoxaflor
  • Tau-Fluvalinate
  • Tebuconazole
  • Tebufenpyrad
  • Tebufenozide
  • Teflubenzuron
  • Terbufos
  • Terbufos (Sum)
  • Terbufos-oxon-sulfone
  • Terbufos-sulfone
  • Terbufos-sulfoxide
  • Tecnazene
  • Tefluthrin
  • Terbacil
  • Terbumeton
  • Terbuthylazine
  • Terbutryn
  • Tetrachlorvinphos
  • Tetracanazole
  • Tetradifon
  • Tetrahydrophthalimide (THPI)
  • Tetramethrin
  • Thiabendazole
  • Thiacloprid
  • Thiamethoxam (SP)
  • Thiometon
  • Thiophanate-methyl (SP)
  • Tolclofos Methyl
  • Tolfenpyrad
  • Tolyfluanid (SP)
  • Transfluthin
  • Triadimefon (SP)
  • Triadimenol (SP)
  • Triadimenol+Triadimefon
  • Triazophos
  • Trifluralin
  • Trichlorfon
  • Tricyclazole
  • Tridemorph
  • Trifloxystrobin
  • Triflumizole (SP)
  • Triflumuron
  • Triforine
  • Uniconazole
  • Vinclozolin (SP)
  • Zeta-cypermethrin
  • Zoxamide