The Coffee Chemical Club

To drink or not to drink??? 

I have recently given up drinking coffee (39 days today) because of a few reasons. I no longer wanted to rely on something to stimulate me or give me the quick “pick me up” the unfair trade and people not getting the pay they deserve but the kicker was all the pesticides being sprayed on the crop! 

Coffee is a soft commodity and is the second largest commodity product behind oil traded around the globe.


I also recently read the Tox Free Family article about coffee hence wanting to delve into this topic for health purposes and just to give you the facts from the health departments and science back up.  



The simple answer is yes.

But this isn’t a shut and closed answer.

Chemical exposure depends on many factors including environment, farming, crop treatment, harvesting, storage practices and distribution.

Coffee, is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world, after petroleum.

Coffee, being a much sought after consumable product, not only treats it’s crops with chemicals, but does everything it can to cut costs including inferior drying, re-wetting, large batch roasting, and bad storage practices in the post-production handling of coffee.

Here’s a document I found about the numerous sprays and cocktails we are sprinkling on our coffee fIelds. 

* * *

International Coffee Council 122th Session
17-21 September 2018 London, United Kingdom
ICC 122-10 Rev. 1
7 September 2018 E
Original: English

Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs)

1. The International Coffee Organization is committed to keeping Members informed about food safety issues, particularly regarding the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of pesticides applicable to coffee. Members were, therefore, requested to update details of MRLs for pesticides used in the coffee production process (see document ED 2267/18).

2. Up to 25 July 2018, the ICO received replies from Angola, Cameroon, Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the European Union, Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Honduras, Japan, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Togo and Uganda. In addition, information has been made available for one non-member country, China. Additional information was received from Japan on 4 September 2018. This report consolidates the information to provide a database of the 32 chemicals applicable to coffee, showing the MRLs in each country for which information is available.

The Council is requested to consider this document.


1. This report contains information on the Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) of pesticides applicable to coffee in selected countries. These limits, as well as other sanitary, phytosanitary and technical requirements (SPS and TBT), may affect the trade of green, roasted and soluble coffee.

2. The attached table lists the MRLs for the 32 pesticides applicable to coffee beans (SB 0716) and roasted coffee (SM 0716) covered by the Codex Alimentarius (first two columns). The Codex was established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to provide harmonized international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice. The Codex has 189 members and 225 observers. MRLs for pesticides are established by the Codex Committee on Pesticide Residues, and limits for 32 pesticides applied to coffee were listed as of August 2018. However, the Committee considers new limits on a yearly basis, so Members are advised to check directly with the Codex. Further information is available at

2. The attached table also compares MRLs for Codex with data for individual exporting and importing markets that have reported MRLs values to the ICO. For each pesticide, the highest MRL is highlighted in bold, and the lowest in italics. The information provided covers approximately 62% of world exports and 70% of world imports.

3. National regulations for MRLs of pesticides applied to coffee can be divided into three categories:

a) Following Codex guidelines: Colombia*, Costa Rica and Cuba*.
b) Following Codex guidelines combined with the standards defined by one or more of the following entities: The East African Community (EAS), the European Union (EU), Japan and the USA Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Member countries in this category are: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo
(DRC), Ecuador*, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Rwanda and Uganda.
c) Own national standards: Brazil*, EU, Ghana, Indonesia*, Japan, Kenya* and the
4. In addition, Angola, Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Haiti* and Togo reported negligible use of pesticides, while no quality standards at national level have been defined by China.

However, the coffee-planting area in Yunnan province, in China, follows the 4C’s baseline sustainability standard, which contains three lists of pesticides, divided into Unacceptable Practices pesticides, Red List pesticides and Yellow List pesticides.

* As reported in document ICC-110-3 Rev. 2, 25 February 2013.

The contents of this document are based on information made available by Members and in the public domain. Reasonable effort has been made to ensure its accuracy at time of publication. However, the ICO does not warrant the accuracy of this information and cannot accept responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions that may be contained in this document.

For more information

So there you have !! That’s why I don’t drink coffee anymore. 

How about you? Did you know you are drinking 32 chemicals per day? I didn’t either so that’s one less thing I want to poison my body with. Drugs, nicotine, alcohol and now coffee. 

Bring on the healing and hydration to my body.   


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