Chances are you’ve eaten glyphosate today, even if you avoid genetically engineered foods-- the herbicide most commonly applied to GE crops including soy, corn, and canola. It’s the world’s most widely used herbicide in agricultural history; and after the World Health Organization declared it a possible carcinogen last spring, the FDA now says it will step up efforts to test for excessive residues of glyphosate in food.
“The agency is now considering assignments for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher told Civil Eats.
The move comes after numerous consumer health and environmental advocacy groups have become increasingly more vocal about concerns over the use of glyphosate since the WHO warning.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide, Roundup, a product the company contends is used at levels deemed safe by the U.S. government. Roundup generates about $5 billion in annual revenues for Monsanto.
But assurances from Monsanto haven’t quieted concerns about its safety.
“Private companies, academics, and consumer groups have recently launched their own testing and claim to have detected glyphosate residues in breast milk, honey, cereal, wheat flour, soy sauce, infant formula, and other substances,” reports Civil Eats.
The FDA hasn’t yet released specific details about its plans to test foods, only noting that the issue is “sensitive” and that this will be the first time the agency will be actively testing foods for glyphosate levels.
“We are thrilled that the FDA announced today they will begin testing food for glyphosate residues,” Zen Honeycutt, Moms Across America founder said in a statement. “This shows that citizens, such as the moms who initiated the water, urine, breast milk, and food testing, and the thousands of our members who called the EPA, can impact nationwide policy change.”
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