Killer Bees Honey is proud to announce that we have been accepted as a Certified Naturally Grown apiary. Certified Naturally Grown (CNG.org) was established in 2002 as an alternative to the odiously expensive and sometimes irrelevant FDA and USDA standards for “organic” honey certification. Instead of using USDA accredited third-party certifiers, CNG farms and apiaries are inspected by Agricultural Extension Agents, Master Gardeners, customers, and other CNG farmers. All CNG farms are subject to random pesticide and herbicide residue testing.
Why is this important to our customers?
The FDA has no safety standards for honey, only “guidance” for labeling honey and honey products. The USDA grading system is just as milquetoast regarding honey quality. The USDA does not inspect apiaries for pesticide use. The USDA does not test honey and related honey products for herbicides, fungicides, pesticides or other toxins. There are no USDA protocols to follow, thus nothing to enforce. No action has ever or will ever be taken against a honey producer or packer who sells toxin-corrupted honey. According to the USDA, they’ve done nothing wrong.
The USDA recently tested 315 samples of honey for pesticides. Intriguingly, if you look at the summary results under “EPA tolerance level, PPM” you have a continuous line of NT’s. Meaning: no tolerance (NT) level for that particular pesticide was set by the EPA.
Damn the pesticides! Full retail sales ahead!
Because of the complete lack of USDA and FDA standards, honey production should ultimately be monitored by the growers and consumer. This is why Killer Bees Honey joined the Certified Naturally Grown program. We intend on inviting our Ag Extension Agent and local Master Gardener to examine of our apiary, but the final word will be from customers who have come and attended our tours to personally see the transparency of our operation and the purity of our honey.
On a related note, it has been rumored that the EPA may set a national standard for glyphosate in honey. It’s ironic that the EPA has established tolerances for glyphosate in other foods which are enforced on manufacturers, but not honey. Sue Bee likes to call itself “America’s Honey.” It's “100% Pure” and “All Natural” labels would be misleading, false and deceptive if judged by the EU thresh-hold for glyphosate in honey. It was discovered through FOIA requests that Sue Bee honey had high residual amounts of glyphosate in its honey. Results from a more recent study of off the shelf, store bought honey showed honey lots from Iowa (Sue Bee is located in Iowa) with glyphosate residues of 653 ppb — more than 10 times the limit of 50 ppb allowed by the European Union.
Speaking of transparency, the new owner of Monsanto’s Roundup, Bayer AG had its pending glyphosate case bifurcated. A win for them; now plaintiff’s attorneys must show that glyphosate caused the cancer of their client, Edwin Hardeman, before they can present evidence proving malice on the part of Monsanto. The trial begins in February and is the first of an expected 9,300 U.S. glyphosate lawsuits. Let transparency prevail.
This brings us back to Certified Naturally Grown and its rigorous standards. Killer Bees honey supports CNG’s philosophy that food be grown and processed using sustainable and non-toxic methods. Animals and insects are to be cared for in the most ethical and sustainable manner. Pest control should be benign to the bees, without the use of harmful, synthetic pesticides which would undoubtedly end up in the honey.
"Certification for farmers, not corporate conglomerates" is an apt tag line for CNG.org.