FDA Finally Agrees To Test Food For Monsanto’s Glyphosate Weedkiller

The Food and Drug Administration will begin testing corn, soybeans and other foods for the presence of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide, according to the blog Civil Eats.

The decision comes almost a year after the World Health Organization declared that the chemical, the active ingredient in the popular weedkiller Roundup, likely causes cancer in humans.

Civil Eats, in an article published Wednesday, quoted FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher as saying the agency is “considering assignments” for the current fiscal year to “measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods.”

By testing for residues of the chemical, the FDA may answer longstanding concerns about whether it ends up in the food supply. If detected in large amounts, the industry would likely see an increased demand for stricter regulations.

Glyphosate is widely used in farming, in conjunction with genetically engineered seeds that can withstand its toxic properties, and has been linked to various health and environmental concerns. Monsanto, which patented the herbicide in the 1970s, maintains it is effective and safe.

The FDA and other regulatory agencies already test for pesticides, but glyphosate — one of the most ubiquitous herbicides — has never been on the FDA’s list.

Among the groups that welcomed the FDA announcement was the Center for Biological Diversity, which noted in a statement that glyphosate has been named as a leading cause of massive declines in monarch butterflies.

Nathan Donley, a scientist with the group, said it was “shocking” it took the FDA so long to agree to testing. He added that he’s “glad it’s finally going to happen.”

More and more scientists are raising concerns about the effects of glyphosate on human health —> Read More