Huel, Glyphosate, and the Detox Project

Why is Huel, similar to Oatley, not trying to get certification from the Detox Project that the product is Glyphosate free? The primary ingredient in powder are oats.

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Is it free? I’m not sure on the definition of free. James made a post on this a few years ago.

Well, the great thing about an independent certification like The Detox Project is that it aligns standards with well-known brands that invest in highest quality ingredients.

It’s a suggestion such that we don’t have to rely on James word for it. It enables consumers to be confident. If Huel is meant to replace actual meals, I would hope quality is the highest priority.

The problem with the detox project is that it isn’t a recognised body or certification with any food standards agencies and so basically has no meaning other than a marketing tool. They also don’t do any testing - its all farmed out to third party laboratories and the fee you pay them allows you to use their logo on multiple products so basically is diminished further similar to Gruner Punkt recycling label.

Huel already have all of their products independently tested in labs and in the case of the pro-products on every batch so it would basically be a repetition of something they already do.

With regards to Glyphosate – there is literally no conclusive and comprehensive research that would require it to be labelled as a hazard or removed. Indeed both the FDA and EPA both performed research far more wide ranging than any other body over two years - and find that there are no risks of concern to human health when glyphosate is used in accordance with its current label.

The EPA also found that glyphosate is unlikely to be a human carcinogen. As a result they issued an injunction order against the state of California over its inclusion in to labelling requirements for Proposition 65 given that it was false and misleading and that the IARC study that triggered it, was far too selective and not in any way a thorough investigation.

This caused huge costs and issues for brand owners who had to again change their labelling as the injunction required compliance within 90 days. Similarly, the European Union as of December 2021 renewed the its approval for its use in PPP’s.

Unless you literally tested every single batch of your products – there is no way you could guarantee what they contain due to the nature of modem farming methods. Companies like Oatly use both organic and conventionally farmed oats so the likelihood of any cross contamination of fertilisers is high and would be near impossible to assure consistency in testing. So while they could submit a batch of organic oats for approval that doesn’t mean all of their products would be the same.

For me – this is very similar to the Bisphenol A scare mongering. Alarmist and unproven editorials permeating the consumer consciousness and leading to product manufacturer’s having to label products as BPA free even though there is no proof its harmful as used and the majority of products labelled were not polycarbonates so never contained BPA anyway.


You don’t have to test everything. That’s why you can utilize statistics to perform random sampling.

All I’m suggesting is that Huel consider what the increase in cost would be if they had a form of independent verification. Many ingredients aren’t consistent or regulated. Just look at differences between stevia or RebM that is fermented versus harvested. Simply put, asking for regulatory consistency is a pointless ask.

Furthermore, arguing that it’s a marketing tool or no proof of health concerns is simply a lazy persons way of not considering a simple certification.
It’s about transparency and principle.

Sure it may increase costs but I’m sure I wouldn’t be the only one concerned if they could pass the following in their products:

To be certified Glyphosate Residue Free, your product/s must have no glyphosate residues down to government-recognized limits of detection (LODs) for food, commodity and supplement samples (usually 0.01 ppm), and lower levels than default government Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) in the European Union and Japan.

Can random samples of Huel pass this? Maybe we should put this to a test via a lab tests that any nutritional PhD could help look into.

just make sure its a cheap and not particularly accurate lab OK?

Like I said – shilling and scare mongering

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Not sure if I agree it’s shilling or fear mongering. I get the tactic though, it’s an easy way to label and discredit. Fear would imply consequences which I have yet to state in this post. I’m not here to argue that Glyphosate are at bad, just that at the company-level, it shouldn’t be difficult to keep an up-to-date report of common concerns. How else do consumers keep a for profit company accountable?

Anyways, from labeling my post as fear mongering to simply trusting “James” word for it, it’s clear we have a difference in all facets of this topic. To maintain the lowest cost highest margin business, they need more advocates like you.

You are being deliberately obtuse.

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I never said we should “just trust “James” word for it”. Not everybody on forums uses the search before posting about a topic. I used the search as I remember something about this years ago and found that post and thought it might be something relevant to your topic.

Oh and by the way, that “James” who you put in quotation marks is the head of nutrition and the person who devised the original Huel formula so if you’re not prepared to trust him then why are you even buying the product.

I can see you’re one of these that likes to create a siege mentality on a forum where you think everybody is against you if they have a viewpoint different to yours. Phil never “labelled” your post as fear mongering. He put forward his opinion on the subject.


New comers like myself have to use a forum to seek information from power users. Huel can’t have a single mention of Glyphosate anywhere in their public domain except for a forum?

You really don’t think this is broken? I get it might not be needed but the company has a reputation that can only be so well guarded by beloved users like yourselves. It’s not that hard folks, it’s simply a report on quality.

I personally don’t care. I’m not a nutritional expert. I don’t really know what Glyphosate’s are. I just remember them being discussed years ago and I dug something up which was relevant. Overall though I trust the company and when they say the product is safe and I’ve been consuming it regularly for over 5 years.

You’ve had one conversation with one member of the forum who has a different viewpoint on testing and certification than yours and you’ve already thrown your hands up in the air in despair. Calm down mate.

Huel staff including James and the rest of the nutritional team regularly post on the forum. After the Easter holiday I’m sure one of them will give you the company view on it.


From 2018: [quote=“Tim_Huel, post:2, topic:9746”]
glyphosate has recently come under very close scrutiny from the public. For those that don’t know, glyphosates are commonly used weed killers and traces are commonly found in foods in minute amounts.

We regularly analyse our products for a range of potential contaminants including glyphosates. The daily allowable amount of glyphosate is 1.7mg/kg of body weight in the US and 0.3mg/kg in the EU and the levels of glyphosates in Huel products are well within these limits. The highest level found per 100g Huel powder was 0.6ppm which is 100 times less than the US limit and 20 times less than the EU level

We and our suppliers routinely examine our raw materials, and these are also well below allowable levels. Indeed, glyphosate levels in Huel products are often absent altogether, for example in our Gluten-Free Huel glyphosates are undetectable. All Huel products are safe to consume and enjoy.


It’s not lazy it’s a simple factual assessment of a commonly used and misleading marketing tool.

Would I trust a dedicated team of qualified nutritionist’s from various fields, doctors of chemical engineering etc all working under the umbrella of legal and compliance controls over a former journalist with no industry experience or accreditation, reselling (at most) $125 lab tests of questionable accuracy for $1500 out of an apartment over a beauty salon in small town Bulgaria – all under the thin guise of some altruistic public awareness advocacy? Yeah – absolutely I’d take their word for it.


The point is - you should trust nobody’s word for it. The folks at Huel are optimizing for their shareholders and providing you, the consumer, with enough value to ensure a high rate of recurring purchases. As a consumer you should ask for even higher standards, which is data on multiple dimensions.

The data should be published and embraced. If not by a single source by multiple independent sources. You have to read forum to obtain information not readily available.

The beautiful thing about multiple sources is that they can be aggregated to find a generic value. So sure, a foreign lab can be vetted on other sources.

Hi @littlemonoid - thanks for raising this. And thanks to the others who posted some useful info about glyphosate.

As per @hunzas’s post, the levels of glyphosates detected in Huel products are well below the already conservative regulated levels. At Huel, we adhere to the highest quality control standards for all our products - see here.

I’d not heard of The Detox Project prior to this post; we will look into them. Having accreditation with independent bodies can, in some circumstances, be useful whether as a marketing tool or for customer assurance. However, accreditation for some foods or constituents can be based on poor science.


I’ve had a proper look into this and I think, honestly, this company is just making money off the back of consumer concerns that have come from scaremongering.

The FDA and other regulatory bodies test and set limits for glyphosates, so this company isn’t offering anything that governments don’t already do. This is on top of our own testing that we do.

The Detox Project also offer other tests to make sure that a “detox” product is going to detox you, which has no grounding in science.


Thanks for looking into this. Don’t forget, the detox project is just an example of a broader concern so I do think you’re missing the point a bit however.

The detox project is simply one of many potential means for the company to increase transparency on the origin of ingredients and to highlight these tests. In Oatleys 10k, they report this to investors as an assurance to brand quality.

While I believe the tests are done in good faith internally, I do think there is merit to third parties doing such tasks. Independent verification ensures that consumers have the best interest in mind for a fragmented landscape of differing company standards. Look like accounting or credit reporting.

The main point is - consumers at this moment need a leap of good faith and common arguments is “no we don’t want to subscribe to scaremongering, trust us on it.” If not detox project, what are the action items to increase transparency?

I personally don’t think that spending a whole’lotta money (and thus increasing the product retail price) just to have the products “checked” for things which most people wouldn’t even think about being included in foodstuffs like Huel is the best idea. Especially by self-proclaimed “independent” companies. Without consumer trust in those orgs, it’s not worth a thing.
There is a difference between Independent Glyphosate Haters Association™ and a TUVRheinland certificate.
Everybody has different preferences and tolerance on what they want to be sure of when purchasing the products.

Yes it’s a tradeoff for sure. There is diminishing returns on quality versus cost.

However, the company can easily publish its own test results and find cheap/free means to educate consumers on existing processes that are in place.

The key is not to pin point a solution but to head in the same direction. I just wouldn’t want to see an independent company test Huel products and find some discrepancies with what is reported, which is very little and lives mainly in forums.

Plus, how much incremental cost is it really to randomly sample and report the results? People are using the product as full meal replacements. Quality should be a well-reported and well-trusted pillar. That information should be available IMO.

I’m getting lost. :slight_smile:
explain it to me like a two year old that what is the issue with the current communication?
They run their own tests, they have their own safety team, we trust the Huel team (and all their nutritional and other experts) with our money and having their products.
Would you expect any badges at your local bakery? on Coke products? How is that different?

Sorry, I am having a hard time understanding the exact problem now.