FDA to start testing for pesticide glyphosate in food

FDA to start testing for pesticide glyphosate in food

The most commonly used weed-killing spray Roundup is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” according to a recent statement from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Glyphosate, one of the chemicals in Roundup is believed to be responsible for the pesticide’s possible carcinogenicity.

The chemical has caused so much concern that the FDA now plans to start testing for pesticide glyphosate in food.

Private testers including U.S. consumer groups, scientists and food companies have reported finding glyphosate traces in breast milk, soy beans, honey, cereals, wheat flour, infant formula, and more, according to Reuters.

According to ConsumerReports.org, a small USDA study found “glyphosate residues on about 90 percent of 300 soybean samples.”

FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher stated that the agency would begin to testing for pesticide glyphosate in food for the first time ever.

The agency is now considering assignments for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” she told American food news media outlet Civil Eats.

As reported by Civil Eats:

“The start-up costs to implement selective residue methods for glyphosate at six FDA testing laboratories is pegged at about $5 million, according to a statement the FDA gave the GAO after the GAO criticized FDA for not testing for glyphosate in a 2014 audit. The GAO reported that it found multiple deficiencies in the FDA’s pesticide residue testing program, and specifically cited a failure to test for glyphosate, which the GAO called the ‘most used agricultural pesticide’.”
Glyphosate is believed to be very present in foods such as genetically modified corn and soy. According to Charles Benbrook, Ph.D., of Washington State University, in 2014 U.S. farmers used the equivalent of three-quarters a pound of glyphosate per acre of farmland. “When a single pesticide is used that widely, people can’t help but be exposed to it,” Benbrook explains.

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1. “Evaluation of Five Organophosphate Insecticides and Herbicides.” IARC Monographs 112 (2015): n. pag. International Agency for Research on Cancer. World Health Organization, 20 Mar. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
2. “Glyphosate in Your Diet.” Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports, 19 Mar. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
3. “FDA to Start Testing for Glyphosate in Food!.” Health Nut News. Health Nut News, 18 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
4. “FDA to Start Testing for Glyphosate in Food.” Civil Eats. Civil Eats, 16 Feb. 2016. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.
5. “Fears over Roundup Herbicide Residues Prompt Private Testing.” Reuters. Thomson Reuters, 10 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Feb. 2016.

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