Whole-food dietary supplements brand MegaFood (Derry, NH) has launched a new line of organic gummy vitamins. The company says that its gummy vitamins are the first on the market to be certified Glyphosate Residue Free by The Detox Project. The gummies’ glyphosate residue–free designation guarantees that the ingredients used in the gummies have not been sprayed with and do not contain residues from the herbicide glyphosate. MegaFood debuted the line of gummy vitamins at March’s Natural Products Expo West trade show.
Erin Stokes, medical director, MegaFood, tells Nutritional Outlook that while the gummies are also Non-GMO Project verified, the Detox Project certification is an especially important distinction for the company. “Although Non-GMO Project Verified and certified Glyphosate Residue Free are complementary certifications,” she explained, “glyphosate is sprayed heavily on GMO and conventionally-grown agriculture at harvest.” She adds that tests for GMOs in the supply chain do not include toxic chemicals like glyphosate.
Bethany Davis, director of industry and regulatory affairs, MegaFood, explains that certifications like those from the Non-GMO Project and NSF do not cover herbicides, pesticides, or other farm management practices aside from traceability and segregation related to seeds. “The Non-GMO Certification and Verification programs are laser focused on whether or not the materials in a product or ingredient were made from GMO seed or GMO practices…whether the non-GMO seed or ingredient may have come into contact with GMO, etc., and they do a wonderfully competent job at making these determinations.”
However, says Davis, “glyphosate is used widely on many crops outside of just GMO crops including conventional agriculture. So simply buying non-GMO foods is not enough to make assurances that there are no residues of glyphosate. Glyphosate is banned in organic agriculture, but unfortunately due to the ubiquity of this substance in the U.S., it sometimes makes its way into organic foods due to cross-contamination, either via a neighboring farm or in transit. Testing is the only way to be sure about residues.”
The Detox Project is an independent research and certification organization that tests consumer goods and food products for toxic chemicals. In order for a product to be certified glyphosate residue-free, it must contain no residue of glyphosate or aminomethylphosphonic acid, a glyphosate metabolite, above the limits of laboratory detection (between 0.1 parts per billion and 20 parts per billion, depending on the type of product).
Stokes says that in addition to its glyphosate residue–free designation, the gummies stand out on the market because they are made with whole foods sourced from the company’s Farm Fresh Partners group of organic, family-owned farmers. The gummies are also preservative-, gluten-, dairy-, and soy-free. The gummies, which have 2 grams of sugar or less per serving, are available in four formulations: B12 Energy Cranberry, B12 Energy Ginger, D3 Wellness Mixed Fruit, and C Defense Tangy Citrus.
In a press statement from MegaFood, the company noted that gummies are an increasingly popular supplement delivery system among consumers. Citing data from Harris Interactive, the company pointed out that more than 40% of Americans report difficulty swallowing pills.
With that in mind, said Robert Craven, CEO, MegaFood, the decision to enter the functional gummies space made sense. “Launching a line of gummies made with real, whole foods is a natural progression for our brand,” he said in the press release. “From sourcing nutritious whole foods from our trusted network of Farm Fresh Partners to consulting with our consumer panel to obtain feedback on taste and package design, we've worked tirelessly to craft the highest-quality gummy supplements you can find.”
All four of the new MegaFood gummies are available in the U.S. in both natural food stores and online.