FDA to Test Food for Monsanto Weedkiller

marching_corn_fieldThe US government’s food watchdog will soon begin testing certain products for the presence of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which the World Health Organization linked to cancer last year.

Milk, corn, eggs and soybeans are on the list of foods the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) intends to test for glyphosate residue. Soy and corn are widely used in animal feed and are among the crops routinely sprayed with variants of Roundup, a herbicide developed by Monsanto in the 1970s. Glyphosate is now off-patent and widely used around the world, with Monsanto promoting “Roundup Ready” crops genetically modified for immunity to the chemical.

“The agency is now considering assignments for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher told Civil Eats, an American food news publication.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved Monsanto’s request to use increased levels of glyphosate in its pesticides in 2013. Last March, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified glyphosate as a “probable or possible” carcinogen, saying that laboratory tests found “limited evidence” of increased cancer in humans. Monsanto has contested the finding as “a dramatic departure from the conclusion reached by all regulatory agencies around the globe.”

Recent testing by private companies, universities and consumer groups has found residue from the chemical in honey, cereal, wheat flour, soy sauce, infant formula and breast milk.

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