Dec 14, 2021

We’re certified Glyphosate-Free!

Glyphosate has become a hot topic in the food quality in recent years, but it’s been around since the 1970’s. Today, the U.S. agricultural industry (and many other countries) use it as a weedkiller and crop desiccant.

It’s a chemical that we certainly don’t think belongs in food, including honey. Bees –– who pollinate agricultural crops in addition to flowering plants and trees ––are also subject to consuming glyphosate when foraging for nectar. So, not only is this chemical introduced to the environment, it also affects bees and other insects, animals, and humans. While the FAO and WHO recently cited that glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet," we take a firm stance that glyphosate should not be in foods.

In New Zealand, glyphosate has been used as an herbicide by some farmers and is regularly tested by the government for the presence of any residuals in foods. Since the entire country of New Zealand does not allow the production of Genetically Modified Crops (which often use glyphosate), glyphosate prevalence is lower in New Zealand than in the U.S. While there is a potential risk that bees may have unintended exposure, Comvita’s hives across the north island of New Zealand are placed far away from these farms. Furthermore, Manuka trees are found in the wild, remote areas of New Zealand, well away from areas of intensive farming. For these reasons, it is unlikely that Manuka Honey would be at risk of contamination – but we still check every batch to confirm.

To ensure our honey isn’t at risk for this contaminant, we test for the presence of glyphosate in every single batch of honey. Our own program meets or exceeds strict standards set by the EU standard, which is the most stringent amongst global countries. Our promise of pure, premium quality honey has long held true, yet felt it was important to provide 3rd party guarantee. We felt it was important to give further confidence in our Manuka Honey and have gained verification from an outside agency known as The Detox Project. The Detox Project’s Glyphosate Residue Free program we’re now certified with 1) sets the standards to adhere to; 2) routinely tests for the presence of glyphosate in our Manuka Honey, and 3) conducts randomized “spot checks” of the finished product on retail shelves.

We are happy to announce our products are certified Glyphosate Residue Free. This means all Comvita Manuka Honey meets the standards* set out by The Detox Project, which verifies products do not contain glyphosate. The Glyphosate Detox Project is an additional layer on top of our regular, stringent testing of every batch of Comvita Manuka Honey.

*Based on government limit of detection protocols and default Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs).


Key Takeaways:

  • Glyphosate-Tested.
    Comvita tests every single drum of raw honey that enters our production facility, as part of our own Glyphosate Testing Program. The Glyphosate Residue Free program standards include additional testing and spot testing.
  • Our honey falls well below the maximum thresholds set internationally.
    Not only do we meet the stringent EU standard for glyphosate, Comvita's own standard is even tighter than the EU limit of <0.05 ppm. Our limit of detection is <0.01 ppm using an LC/MS method.
  • While the use of glyphosate is approved in many countries around the world, we don't feel it should be present in food and therefore we ensure it is not.
    While the FAO and WHO recently cited that glyphosate is "unlikely to pose a carcinogenic risk to humans from exposure through the diet," we take a firm stance that glyphosate should not be in foods.
  • Our honey comes from the remote forests of New Zealand. Hives are placed in areas far from agriculture.