Category Archives: glyphosate

Glyphosate in the News

As you may have noticed, Pickering Laboratories has been periodically updating our newsletter subscribers on Glyphosate-related reports in the news.   We are interested in the evolving current events related to Glyphosate regulation and the new research being conducted worldwide. 

Here’s the latest:

Glyphosate residue-free inquires surge as ‘Clean Food’ movement gathers pace.
Glyphosate is being food in consumer products and consumers are finding that a choice is possible.

Common weed killer linked to bee deaths.
A study has found that Glyphosate is a factor in bee deaths and determined the mechanism of effect.

Previous Articles on Glyphosate
Pickering Laboratories offers a post-column method for Glyphosate analysis that has been the industry standard for many years. Our methodology is simpler and more sensitive than LCMS, not to mention less expensive. Please contact us to speak with a chemist about post-column instrumentation or for tips and tricks to improved sample preparation, lower detection limits, or if you’ve got a new sample matrix in mind.

Glyphosate Banned in France and Labeled a Carcinogen in California

Events surrounding Glyphosate testing in foods continue to evolve with the latest stories “France banning Glyphosate sales in consumer nurseries” and “California requiring labeling Glyphosate as a carcinogen.” We also want to discuss the EU- wide petition to ban Glyphosate.

After an arm of the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO) identified the main ingredient in Monsanto’s popular weed killer Roundup as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” France has taken a step to limit sales of the herbicide.

A judge tentatively ruled that California can require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible cancer threat despite an insistence from the chemical giant that it poses no risk to people.

The European commission says it has received a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) – essentially a petition put together by EU citizens – proposing a ban on the controversial pesticide Glyphosate. The proposal is being supported by a number of environmental groups, and according to the rules ECIs need to be submitted by a committee which includes representatives from at least seven EU member states. The initiative calls on the commission ‘to propose to member states a ban on Glyphosate, to reform the pesticide approval procedure, and to set EU-wide mandatory reduction targets for pesticide use’. Several environmental organizations, including Greenpeace and the Pesticide Action Network, have already voiced their support.

Here are links to our earlier posts, if you’d like to catch up on the backstory:

Pickering Laboratories’ Glyphosate testing in foods.

FDA halted the testing of Glyphosate in food products. No time given for resumption of the testing.

EFSA: Pesticide risk to consumers remains low.

The EPA was to hold public meetings Oct. 18-21, 2016 on the safety of Glyphosate. These meetings were postponed over industry objections to the panel members.

The EPA global risk assessment of Glyphosate has been removed from the website. Already two years late, the best estimate now for publication is April 2017 said an EPA spokesperson.

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has tested 83,000 food samples for pesticides and reported that most were within safety standards for pesticides residues.


AOAC International Conference

aoac-2016The AOAC International Conference caters to chemists and analytical professionals from around the world. This year the meeting is in Dallas, Texas from September 16-24, 2016. Pickering Laboratories will be showing our latest applications and products at our AOAC exhibition booth #308. We are also a corporate sponsor and a contributor to several committee meetings throughout the year. Our commitment to AOAC is reflected in the nay products and methods we offer that follow AOAC methods and guidelines.

This year, Maria Ofitserova will be presenting her work on the analysis of Theanine in tea, dietary ingredients and supplements by HPLC with post-column derivatization. This method was developed in response to a call for methods issued by the Stakeholder Panel on Dietary Supplements (SPDS). The post-column Theanine method has undergone Single Laboratory Validation (SLV) and has met the standard method performance requirements set up by the SPDS. In August 2016, Pickering’s Theanine method was evaluated by an Expert Review Panel (ERP) and approved as an AOAC First Action Official Method! The method and the results of single laboratory validation are in print and will be published in the Journal of AOAC International later this fall. If you are attending the show, don’t miss our related talk on Monday morning September 19th at 8:00am!

Following the trend of more testing for glyphosate, we are presenting a poster on Glyphosate Analysis in Foods. The Pickering post-column method was used to expand our application for Glyphosate Analysis in Soy Beans, Corn and Sunflower Seeds to also include oats, wheat flour, eggs and other food matrices. Improved sample clean-up procedures allow for preparing samples for injection in half the time. See our expanded application in our poster presentation on Tuesday, September 20th.

Glyphosate is one of our classic applications, and as discussed in this quarter’s NACRW article, it has become very popular again due to the recent discovery of glyphosate in finished food products and urine of consumers. Find our previous newsletter article on the subject here: FDA Announces New Glyphosate Testing in Food.

Maria, Mike and David hope to see you at the upcoming AOAC International Conference in Dallas. Please stop by and say hello, or wave to Maria if you see her at her presentation Monday or at one of the expert panels she belongs to!

FDA Announces New Glyphosate Testing in Food

Maria Ofitserova Ph D. – Pickering Laboratories

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is the most widely used herbicide in the world. In the US, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates Glyphosate and sets residue limits for different crops as well as drinking water.  Recent research, however, has raised concerns about Glyphosate safety and its prevalence in the environment.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) rated Glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and several studies, including one conducted by Germany’s Federal Environment Agency (UBA), have indicated a massive increase in the number of human urine samples contaminated with Glyphosate over the last 15 years.

The increased use of Glyphosate has been studied as well. According to Bill Freese, a science policy analyst with the Center for Food Safety, 50 times more Glyphosate is allowed on corn grain now than was allowed in 1996.  The US-EPA has also increased what it considers to be a safe amount of Glyphosate exposure by a factor of 17.  The EPA's high-end estimate of infant exposure to Glyphosate exceeds the level considered safe for them in 1983, Freese adds.

GlyphosateAs the scrutiny of Glyphosate grows in the United States, a U.S. Government Accountability Office report has criticized the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for not sufficiently monitoring residues of the chemical on foods. This February, the FDA announced testing of Glyphosate in foods including soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs. Meanwhile, consumer groups, academics and testing laboratories have claimed to have detected Glyphosate in breast milk, honey, cereal, wheat flour, soy sauce, and infant formula as well.

The herbicide registration renewal of Glyphosate in the European Union was questioned due to mounting evidence of chronic human exposure and insufficient safety data, especially in children, and a suspected link to cancer.  As of now, the decision on relicensing has been postponed.  Several EU members, such as France, Sweden, Netherlands and Italy, have indicated opposition to renewal of the 15-year license.

With this growing international concern about Glyphosate, additional regulations from the US-FDA and international regulatory agencies are possible in the upcoming months and years.

Pickering Laboratories has over 30 years’ experience manufacturing and selling instruments and reagents for Glyphosate analysis in accordance to the US-EPA Method 547 for Glyphosate Analysis in Drinking Water as well as the AOAC Method 991.08 for Glyphosate Analysis in Environmental Waters. These HPLC methods are based on post-column derivatization technology with florescence detection.  The AOAC Official Method 2002.52 for Analysis of Glyphosate in Crops describes easy clean-up procedures that are successfully combined with Pickering Laboratories’ post-column derivatization for analysis of Glyphosate in crops such as soy, corn, alfalfa, and sunflower seeds as well as vegetables such as tomatoes and broccoli. The analytical method is sensitive and selective, and it can be easily implemented in any laboratory. For further details visit our webpage at:   

Please enjoy these excellent additional resources/sources:



Chromatography Quiz #17

Chromatography Quiz #16 Results:

We would like to congratulate our grand prize winners of our last newsletter’s Blast from the Past Picture Quiz: Richard Dickerson from Eurofins Nutritional Analysis Center, della terra gourmet gift setNarjes Ghafoori from LA County Environmental Toxicology Laboratory, Tom Schneider from Suffolk County Water Authority, Dr. Pravish Tiwari from Cipla, Matthew Hartz from Eurofins Eaton Analytical, and Dr. Paul Levy from the Children’s Hospital at Montefiore!

They have each won and will shortly be receiving: a Della Terra Gourmet Gift Set!!  The 25-year-aged balsamic vinegar and signature extra virgin olive oil are presented elegantly in this delightful collection by the Della Terra family, and delivered courtesy of

We would like to thank all of you for your submissions!

The correct answer for the flashback picture:

Despite Michael’s adamant protests, the photographer insisted on prominently displaying the Trione bottles during the photo shoot for the fluorometer detector.  Seeing as how Trione is not a fluorescent reagent, this choice was almost as embarrassing as the quote “Gilson’s 121 is the best fluorometer I’ve used” boldly stated in the original advertisement.  The year this Gilson ad was published, Michael was approached (good-naturedly) by every other fluorometer manufacturer at Pittcon.

Thank you!

Pickering Labs

Chromatography Quiz #17:

Oct 1, 2014, Editor’s Note: We discovered a typo. Originally, we listed the Reactor 1 temperature at 100°C. It should be 36°C 

Identify the error made when running the Glyphosate chromatogram below and win a prize!  Simply email your answer as well as your full contact information to Rebecca at by November 1st, 2014 in order to win.  You will receive email confirmation that your submission has been received.  The troubleshooting answer and winner congratulations will be published in the next issue (to be anonymous, please notify Rebecca in submission).

Glyphosate Analysis for US EPA Method 547

Pickering Standard: 1700-0080 Glyphosate Test Mixture, 2.5 µg/mL, 10 µL injection

Pickering Column: 1954150 Cation-exchange Column for Glyphosate, 4x150mm

Normal Operating Conditions: (for reference only, condition changes may be reflected in chromatogram)

Column Temperature: 55°C

Flow rate: 0.4 mL/min

Eluant Gradient:

eluant gradient for quiz 17

Post-column conditions:

Reagent 1: Oxidizing reagent – 100 uL of 5% Sodium Hypochlorite in 950 mL of GA116

Reagent 2: 100 mg of OPA, 2 g Thiofluor™ in 950 mL of GA104

Reactor 1: 36 °C, 0.5 mL

Reactor 2: ambient. 0.1 mL

Reagent flow rates: 0.3 mL/min

Detection: Fluorometer ex 330 nm, em 465 nm

Troubleshooting Chromatogram:glyphosate troubleshooting chromatogram quiz 17

Reference Chromatogram:glyphosate reference chromatogram quiz 17

Chromatography Quiz No.14

Chromatography Quiz #13 Results

We would like to congratulate our grand prize winners of our last newsletter’s Carbamate Analysis Chromatography Quiz: Irene Taylor from Orange County Utilities, Jim Balk from DHHS Public Health Environmental Laboratory, Narjes Ghafoori from LA County Environmental Toxicology Laboratory, Helene Lachance from Shur-Gain Nutreco, and Jamie Palmer and Matthew Hartz from Underwriters Laboratories!!!

laser chess 1They have each won and will be receiving: a Laser Board Game from laser chess 2Sharper Image!  (This strategy-based board game is similar to chess and features an 80-square Egyptian themed grid.  The goal is to protect your game pieces while eliminating your opponent’s by bouncing eye-safe lasers at them through the maze of mirrors you’ve constructed.)

We would like to thank all of you for your submissions!

The correct answer for the modified Carbamate chromatogram: Reagent #2 (CB910, OPA, and Thiofluor) was partially oxidized.  The peak heights of Carbaryl and 1-Naphthol have significant diagnostic importance in regard to the OPA reagent system. Since 1-Naphthol naturally fluoresces, we can eliminate the fluorescence detector as the problem.  Though smaller peak sizes can reflect problems with Reagent #1, since the Carbaryl peak is full-sized, we can deduce that hydrolysis has occurred (Carbaryl naturally fluoresces after hydrolysis).

Particularly astute observation yields additional details about our troubleshooting chromatogram – slightly shifting retention times towards the end of the run could indicate a problem with HPLC hardware, such as a proportioning valve.

Thank you!

Pickering Labs

 Chromatography Quiz #14:

Complete the cross word puzzle below and win a prize!  Simply email your answer (copy of completed puzzle or list answers with clues) as well as your full contact information to Rebecca at by December 15, 2013 in order to win.  You will receive email confirmation that your submission has been received.  The answer to the puzzle and winner congratulations will be published in the next issue (to be anonymous, please notify Rebecca in submission).

Carbamate/Glyphosate Analysis: Cross Word Puzzle


NEMC 2013

Pickering Laboratories participated in the National Environmental Monitoring Conference in San Antonio, Texas from August 4-8.

niosita low res
Old San Antonio

Rebecca and Wendy were on-hand to share Pickering’s products with the environmental laboratories involved with the conference.  On display were the new FREESTYLE sample clean-up system and the Pinnacle PCX.

Some highlights of the conference included a new product by InnovaPrep, which will rapidly concentrate pathogens in liquid samples, and the 2-D GCMS analysis of POPs in human milk. There were also several interesting discussions about pesticide extraction and analysis as well as the use of Hydrogen as a carrier gas in GC (instead of Helium, for which there is currently a shortage).

The meeting was held at the Hyatt in downtown San Antonio on the Riverwalk. This area of town is full of history and interesting architecture. We were also located directly across the plaza from the Alamo.

alamo low res
Remember the Alamo