The United States Food & Drug Administration (FDA) now considers glyphosate – the most widely used herbicide in the world — a potential threat to public health.
The agency says it plans to test many common foods to see if they contain the potentially cancer-causing chemical, which is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup.
There has been considerable public pressure for the government to study glyphosate.
“The agency is now preparing plans for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher told Newsweek.
Last year, researchers at the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report that said glyphosate probably causes cancer in human beings, Off The Grid News reported at the time. Monsanto at the time accused the international agency of having an agenda.
Monsanto makes around $5 billion a year from sales of Roundup, Civil Eats reported. Several studies have linked glyphosate to kidney and liver problems and a type of cancer called lymphoma. Worldwide, farmers used around 1.65 billion pounds of glyphosate on crops in 2014, according to research in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe.
The FDA’s decision seems to contradict the Environmental Protection Agency, which declared that glyphosate did not cause cancer, The New York Times reported. An earlier EPA study had found it might cause cancer in mice.
The Government Accountability Office two years ago criticized the FDA for not adequately testing chemicals in foods.
“FDA does not disclose in its annual monitoring reports that it does not test for several commonly used pesticides with an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established tolerance (the maximum amount of a pesticide residue that is allowed to remain on or in a food) — including glyphosate, the most used agricultural pesticide,” the GAO report read.
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