Pesticides and herbicides are some of the last things you’d expect to be in a “natural” capsule or tablet intended to support good health and healing. But that’s what can be found in many supplements.
And it’s perfectly legal.
In fact, it can get you a seal of quality!
The research that went into Choose Well was rather extensive. I even read the regulatory standards from the Food and Drug Administration, and the certification standards from NSF International, a third-party quality certification provider. The certification standards are the requirements supplement manufacturers must meet in order to earn what NSF calls, “the leading mark in public health and safety certification around the world.”
One phrase from the NSF standards stuck out for me. Section 5.3.2 of the standards states the following: A broad pesticide screen shall be performed to confirm the absence of banned pesticides in botanical products. NOTE – A pesticide is considered banned if it appears in Annex III of the Rotterdam Convention.
It set me wondering: If testing for banned pesticides is required, are there pesticides that are permitted?
As it turns out, the answer is yes. A representative of NSF confirmed to me that residue from non-banned pesticides is permitted under their standards because theirs is not an organic certification.
Think about that for a moment.
Pesticide residue is permitted, by the company providing “health and safety” certifications, in dietary supplements.
This is why consumers are frustrated with the supplement market. Really–did it occur to anyone that pesticides would be acceptable ingredients in dietary supplements?
At least with fruits and vegetables, one can wash or peel away much of the residue clinging to the product. How would you go about washing capsules of Echinacea? How do you peel psyllium hulls? Who would have thought you’d even need to ask that question?
This is one of the many reasons I wrote Choose Well, the book set to be released in two weeks. People need to know what all those touted standards and regulations actually mean, and they need to know how to find quality supplements made with truly high standards and ethics.
It’s also one of the reasons I’m very, very picky about my dietary supplements.