Glyphosate will soon be getting even more scrutiny.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that it would begin testing soybeans, corn, milk, eggs and other foods for glyphosate residue.
It represents the latest example of regulatory attention being paid to the popular weedkiller made by Monsanto. California is trying to add it to list of known carcinogens which could have impact and liability for farmers. Monsanto is being sued by cancer patients who say they were exposed to the product. And a World Health Organization called it a “probable carcinogen” in a controversial report.
Against that backdrop, FDA has decided to start testing for the chemical in the food supply, despite the $5 million price tag in startup costs for such a testing program.
“While FDA hasn’t officially confirmed to us that they plan to move forward with residue testing, glyphosate’s 40-year history of safe use has been upheld by the U.S. EPA and regulators around the world following decades of study and review,” Monsanto said in a prepared statement. “No data have ever indicated residue levels of 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.”
Glyphosate hit the market in the 1970s and rose in popularity with the introduction of Roundup Ready crops in 1996.
Others don't think FDA's plans to examine foods for glyphosate residue go far enough.
"The FDA move is a good first step, but the testing much be more thorough and widespread," says Gary Ruskin, co-director of U.S. Right to Know in a recent press release. "USDA also should get on board."
What do you think about FDA's decision to test for glyphosate residue in certain foods? Let us know in the comments.