Herbicide

Monsanto, the giant biotech and chemical company, is set to receive some good news from the EPA. The agency is expected to approve raising the allowable limits of glyphosate, the chemical in Monsanto’s popular herbicide, Roundup.

According to Beyond Pesticides, a nonprofit organization focused on protecting human health and the environment, allowable Roundup levels could double for commodities including carrots, sweet potatoes and mustard.

The group claims that this increase could “pave the way an overall increase in the use of Roundup on food and will pave the way for an overall increase in the use of chemical agriculture.”

Glyphosate, which is commonly used on genetically modified crops, has been linked to serious human health risks, including cancer.

In a letter to the EPA, Beyond Pesticides told the agency:

 While EPA in the tolerance setting process has focused on human health effects from dietary exposure, the agency as a part of this process must consider that its tolerance decision also drives the allowable use patterns of glyphosate. Therefore, this tolerance decision affects overall environmental health, which EPA is obligated to consider in its rulemaking when adjusting tolerances. Without this analysis of environmental impacts associated with tolerance setting, EPA is not fulfilling its statutory responsibility under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) to protect against “unreasonable adverse effects on the environment.” [7 U.S.C. 136a] Food tolerances should serve as a deterrent to pesticide misuse and abuse. Theoretically, tolerance limits help ensure that pesticide applications do not exceed federal application rates, and that the human population is not exposed to residues that can adversely impact health. These set limits must be based on human health data and should not be amended without complete information or to simply accommodate special interests.

The EPA is accepting comments on the issue through the end of the day.

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Image: Green Colander