FDA to Test Glyphosate Residues in Food for First Time This Year

FDA to Test Glyphosate Residues in Food for First Time This Year

Two years back, US Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for lack of monitoring the presence of glyphosate residues in food. The agency has now come up with a method capable of testing residue of glyphosate, one of the most widely used herbicide globally, produced under trade name Roundup by the agrochemical corporation Monsanto.

A last year analysis of 400 studies on glyphosate by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research and Cancer called the herbicide ‘probably carcinogenic to humans’. Glyphosate is currently banned in many countries. It often becomes a subject of hot debate for its potential to harm environment and cause health related troubles. Glyphosate is an organophosphorus, broad systemic herbicide used to kill weeds particularly annual broadleaf weeds and grasses.

Lauren Sucher, FDA press officer, announced that the agency will examine glyphosate residues on soybean, corn, milk, and eggs through the help of its latest devised test, this year. Till now, high cost and labor intensive methods have caused delay in testing glyphosate. It can be possible that less amount of glyphosate residues will be found in genetically engineered corn and soybeans as they are highly processed foods.

Monsanto has been developing glyphosate for US crops and is dominating the pesticide market with this chemical. Now, it is the most used agricultural pesticide worldwide. Monsanto is not afraid of tests results, rather is assertive. It claimed that the level of glyphosate used in food is safe and does not exceed more than a fraction of EPA’s very conservative Allowable Daily Intake or any level of concern.

“If FDA does move forward with residue testing in a scientifically rigorous manner, we are confident it will reaffirm the safe use of this vital tool used safely and effectively by farmers, landowners and homeowners around the world,” said Charla Lord, Monsanto spokeswoman.

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