Broadest Test Set 220 + Chemicals - Certified products are tested for more than 220 different toxic pesticides, including glyphosate, chlorpyrifos, paraquat, and many neonicotinoids.
Continuously Testing - We test every single lot of certified products, not just once and done like other certifications.
Test Sensitivity - We test with 10 to 100 times greater sensitivity than most tests carried out in government and industry labs.
Randomized Spot Checks - We randomly spot check all certified products direct from supermarket shelves for blind testing.
Extremely High Benchmarks - We test to less than 10 nanograms per gram of any pesticide, this is the gold standard in the market.
The suffix “-cides” in the word “pesticides” discloses that the purpose of these compounds is to kill a living thing, something considered a pest. Pesticides are toxic to some form of life. Pesticides are ubiquitous and central to the industrial-chemical agricultural system. That approach is built on the principle that it is OK to put toxic chemicals on our food.
Regulators around the world have set thresholds for what they consider “safe levels” of pesticides in foods. For each of these pesticides agencies around the world set thresholds that imply that levels of a pesticide below that threshold is safe to consume.
|Agency||Name of Threshold|
|Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US||Chronic Reference Dose (cRfD)||Environmental Health Hazzard Assessment (OEHHA) in California||No Significant Risk Level (NSRL)|
|European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)||Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)|
All of three of these organizations imply that their thresholds indicate safety, but, if you look carefully at the definitions and at the science, behind the EPA and EFSA thresholds, these agencies have been careful not to make a straightforward claim that their thresholds indicate safety. In reality they are regulation-based thresholds that have been strongly influenced by commercial/industry considerations. Only the California NSRL threshold refers directly to risk and therefore is a frank safety claim, however, it would be more accurate to call that threshold the “Reduced Risk Level”.
The EPA has approved roughly 34,000 different pesticides, and around the world even more are in use. To understand these pesticide “risk” classification systems we will closely consider one pesticide, glyphosate as an example to view in more detail. However, this analysis is relevant to virtually every one of the 34,000 pesticides on the market.
Each agency has a different daily glyphosate threshold. The US EPA has the highest at 140mg. In contrast, the European Food Safety Authority sets the “safety level” at 1/4 the level of the US EPA. California has an even more stringent threshold; their threshold is 1/127th that of the EPA.
|Authority||Limit ug / kg body weight /day||Limit for 150 lb person|
|EU Food Safety Authority||500||35mg|
|OEHHA — California Prop 65||16||1.1mg|
|Tested Clean / Health Research Institute||0.16||0.011mg|
|Study on Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease||0.01||0.0007mg|
Typically, government regulators base their risk analysis and decisions on early research, often done by the company that is applying for approval of their pesticide. Often that research has not been published and peer-reviewed and, quite often, that research is classified as confidential business information and is not available for scrutiny by independent scientists or other private citizens. Although California is a notable exception.
Moreover, there may be other limitations. For instance, California’s Prop 65 focuses only on cancer risk, yet there are many other dangerous health impacts from pesticides. The California Prop 65 threshold is calculated to reduce cancer risk of glyphosate to 1 case in 100,000 population. For California with a population about 39.6 million, that threshold accepts as “safe”, 396 people to contract glyphosate-induced cancer per year!
Another issue is that this level does not consider the fact that all California residents are not healthy adults. There is a significant sub-population of vulnerable individuals, young children, pregnant women, the elderly, the immunocompromised, those with weakened liver or kidney function, etc.
Based on careful analysis of the scientific literature, the Health Research Institute suggests that the safety threshold should be set at 11 μg/kg body weight/day. Tested Clean has adopted the Health Research Institute’s threshold which is 100-fold lower than California’s Prop 65 threshold. Operating to the Tested Clean threshold would reduce US cancer cases from 3300 down to 33 per year.
|Population||Pop 65 Threshold
1 per 100,000
|Tested Clean Threshold
1 per 10,000,000
|United States||330 million||3300||33|
Reducing glyphosate intake to the Tested Clean threshold assures protection of the vulnerable. We suggest this to be a more reasonable safety threshold, based on the research results used by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.
However, the most up-to-date research on glyphosate toxicity, suggests that in-depth research is likely to push the safety threshold for glyphosate even lower than the Tested Clean Safety Threshold. A recent animal study found that exposure to even the lowest level of glyphosate (0.01 μg/kg body weight/day) caused early stages of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.
Glyphosate and other herbicides, insecticides and other kinds of pesticides are toxins. The ideal is to avoid any and all toxins in our food. The ubiquitous use of these chemicals in our agricultural system makes it virtually impossible to completely avoid such toxins. However, we can adopt the Tested Clean Safety Threshold, as a practical standard for minimizing the risk for glyphosate contamination of foods. That gives us a goal—to keep the level of glyphosate in our daily diet below 11 μg per day.
Below, you will find a table that outlines the various official thresholds presented in the graph.
|Recommended Daily Limit For 150lb Person|
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