Bowing to public pressure, FDA resumes testing food for residues of Monsanto’s Roundup
After putting glyphosate testing on hold last March, the FDA has finally resumed testing food for glyphosate.
Glyphosate, a main ingredient in Monsanto’s popular Roundup pesticide, is a topic of controversy. It has been linked to numerous health problems by several studies, including evidence showing that it is a carcinogen, that it causes liver disease, and that it causes reproductive issues. The problem? Roundup is the most commonly used herbicide in the United States, and it’s sprayed directly on crops.
Thus, Roundup residue is likely in a lot of the food we consume every day.
The FDA and USDA have a joint project where they test our food for hundreds of chemicals, to make sure our food is safe. Despite this, the two agencies refused for decades to test food for the presence of the most commonly-used chemical in the U.S., glyphosate. But that changed briefly in 2016, when the FDA and the USDA did a study that found pesticides in 85% of food tested.
Then, suddenly in March, the agencies stopped testing food for glyphosate, with no clear explanation as to why.
The halt on glyphosate testing angered many, and several groups took action. The U.S. PIRG, with a petition signed by over 10,000 people, sent a letter to the government demanding it resume testing for glyphosate. Doctors and scientists from across North America also signed a letter to the government stating their concerns about glyphosate. The letter demands government regulators use “all available data to draw conclusions about product safety.”
After pressure from the U.S. PIRG and several other environmental and health groups, as well as from scientists and doctors, the FDA once again began testingfor glyphosate in our food products in early June.
It cannot be overstated how important it is to test for glyphosate in food. In April, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported that it found traces of glyphosate in 30% of food tested. Before halting testing, the FDA found glyphosate in honey, oatmeal products, and baby food. As glyphosate has been linked to cancer, and even DNA damage, testing for glyphosate in food is necessary.