The Dangers of Chlorpropham (AKA Bud nip)

Ever wonder how your potatoes can go so long without sprouting? The answer: Bud Nip, also known as, Chlorpropham.

Why Is Bud Nip Or Chlorpropham Used?

glycoalkaloids found in potato sprouts can be toxic to consume

Potato sprouts can be toxic when consumed.

Fresh potatoes are delicious and a good source of nutrients. However, if you have a potato sitting for too long they can form sprouts which can be toxic. This is due to their potentially high concentration of glycoalkaloids. Glycoalkaloids can interfere with the nervous system‘s ability to regulate a chemical responsible for the conduction of nerve impulses, call Acetylcholine.

If a potato is still firm and not discolored you can simply cut off the sprouts and go about eating it regularly. If the potato happens to be soft though, that means that the starches in the potato have converted into sugar and it shouldn’t be eaten. Another sign a potato might contain glycoalkaloids is if it has turned green. This means that the potato was exposed to light for a prolonged amount of time and glycoalkaloid  concentrations might have increased.

Chorpropham can be found in grass weeds, alfalfalima and snap beansblueberriescane berriescarrots,cranberries, ladino clovergarlicseed grassonionsspinachsugar beetstomatoessafflowersoybeansgladioli, woody nursery stock, potatoes, and tobacco.

Companies are now using Bud Nip or Chlorpropham to prolong the shelf life of their produce to prevent sprouting. Unfortunately there are consequences with this action.

What Are The Dangers Of Clorpropham?

In an assessment conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, studies using laboratory animals found that “chlorpropham generally has… low acute toxicity” and placed in Toxicity Category III. With that said, here are their findings:

“Chlorpropham is a mild eye and skin irritant, and is practically NON-TOXIC through dermal exposure.”

 

However,

A dermal study using rabbits show that they “produced SKIN IRRITATION and BLOOD CELL CHANGES.”

 

A study using beagle dogs “resulted in REDUCED BODY WEIGHT GAIN, ANEMIA, and changes in THYROID FUNCTION and STRUCTURE.”

 

A rat feeding study also found “BODY WEIGHT GAIN… REDUCED”, in addition to, “DESTRUCTION AND LOSS OF RED BLOOD CELLS.

 

A developmental study in rats found a “TREATMENT RELATED FETAL EFFECT– an increased incident of rudimentary 14th rib.”

 

“A developmental study with rabbits resulted in INCREASEDEMBRYO RESORPTIONS and POST-IMPLANTATION LOSS.”

 

“A reproductive rat study affected GROWTH and HISTOPATHOLOGICAL CHANGES in the spleeen, bone marrow, liver, and kidney.”

 

“Chlorpropham tested POSITIVE in TWO out of FOUR MUTAGENICITY studies.”

 

The United States Environmental Protection Agency assesses chlorpropham

An Assessment of chlorpropham by the United States Environmental Protection Agency

(Click on the image to take you to the official Assessment)

 

Furthermore,

The assessment also states on its fourth (4th) page that,

“Although chlorpropham is classified as a group E chemical (evidence of non-carcinogenicity for HUMANS) according to the Agency’s cancer classification guidelines, one of its metabolites, 3-chloroaniline, is STRUCTURALLY SIMILAR to a KNOWN CARCINOGEN, 4-chloroaniline… Based on the structure of the compounds, the Agency believes that 3-chloroaniline is probably, at most, equally as potent… [as] 4-chloroaniline.”

 

What Is The Conclusion For Clorpropham?

 

Sweet potato comparison with chlorpropham and without (organic)

Comparison of Sweet Potatoes with chlorpropham and without (organic)

 

So that assessment was pretty eye opening for me. I couldn’t BELIEVE even after ALL those findings that this product was still approved for use and the produce it is used on is still approved for human consumption!

The assessment pretty much concluded that chlorpropham “will not cause unreasonable risk to humans or the environment” because they do not have enough evidence to suggest that chlorpropham is harmful for HUMAN consumption.

Does ANYONE find that as disturbing as I do?

The animal studies have shown MUTATIONS and negative, beyond negative effects… but somehow this is ACCEPTABLE for human consumption?

Yes, they originally used this as a solution to a problem, but I would much rather take the risk of having glycoalkaloid poisoning than risk mutations to my DNA or my children’s DNA. At least you can clearly judge a good potato from a bad potato when it has sprouts on it!

Anyway… what are your thoughts on this topic? Does it infuriate you as much as it does me?

Let me know on our facebook page!

Also, I would like to thank the little girl in the video for tickling my curiosity enough to make me do all this research to expose this awful chemical.

  1. I watched the little girl’s video, then started researching “bud-nip” as well.

    I’m very confused about the different types of organic.

    What I’m confused about: organic produce as bought from the “regular” store, versus organic produce bought from a health/natural food store. I thought organic was organic, without difference as to where the item was purchased. Can you explain?

  2. Hi Jamie,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The video posted above is actually not our own.

    This matter was confusing for us also but our best guess is that there are different variations of organic. To be certified USDA Organic, the item must meet specific standards that the USDA require. We think that these variations might have something to do with the different types of organic.

    Natural health food stores also generally use local farmers the time from farm to store is a lot less.

    This article helps differentiate the two. We will keep an eye our for more information about this matter though.

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/organic-food/art-20043880

    Thank you.