Traditional canaryseed

Safe for birds, not humans

The traditional canaryseed (alpiste) varieties typically sold as bird food do not harm birds. Birds don’t eat the alpiste seeds whole, silica hairs and all. Instead they use their hard, protective beaks to crack open the hulls and only eat the grain inside.

If you consume a canaryseed drink made with traditional canaryseed varieties, you are consuming potentially dangerous silica fibers from the hull that have been linked to cancer in humans. Choose Pureza Silica Fiber Free™ Canaryseed instead!


Many alpiste retailers and consumers do not know the crucial difference between the traditional and new glabrous (hairless) varieties of alpiste.

Silica fibers and cancer
Studies of the increased rates of esophageal cancer in Southern Africa, Northeastern Iran, and Northern China have indicated consumption of flour contaminated with canaryseed may be a contributor. The types of canaryseed contaminating these flours have protective hairs (spicules) on the outside of the hull made of 98% silica. The needle-like shape and tiny size of these spicules, similar to asbestos fibers, may contribute to cell damage in the throat that may lead to cancer.

New canaryseed, free of silica fibers
The University of Saskatchewan developed a new “hairless” (glabrous) variety of canaryseed, largely with the objective of reducing skin irritation for people who handle it during harvesting and processing. CDC Maria, Togo and other hairless varieties, sometimes sold under the trade name CanarioTM, do not have the canaryseed spicules at all.

Which kind are you buying?
Most farmers still plant the traditional varieties, rather than the glabrous varieties, because the grain yields are higher. So at this time, if you buy canaryseed sold as bird food it will most likely be the traditional varieties with the silica hairs. Many canaryseed retailers do not know there is a meaningful difference between the traditional and “hairless” varieties, so it’s very important that you do.

Pureza offers only Silica Fiber Free™ canaryseed
We contract directly with farmers who grow glabrous canaryseed for us, and we sell it as Pureza Silica Fiber Free™ Canaryseed. The Canaryseed Association of North America (CANA) defines Silica Fiber Free™ canaryseed as a minimum of 97% hairless. Pureza takes the strictest precautions to ensure that only premium certified Silica Fiber Free™ alpiste has been planted, cleaned, processed, packaged and shipped to you.

Toll-free #: 1-855-ALPISTE