News

FDA to Start Testing for Pesticide Levels

Is there weed killer on your produce?

News

FDA to Start Testing for Pesticide Levels

Is there weed killer on your produce?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has confirmed that they will begin testing foods sold in the U.S. for residue of herbicide glyphosate, an active ingredient in the weed and grass killer, Roundup. Glyphosate is the most-used agricultural pesticide in the world with 9.4 million tons sprayed onto fields globally. The FDA claims that they have not had the available methods or funds to previously test for this chemical—even after being labeled "probably carcinogenic to humans" by the United Nations International Agency for Research on Cancer and can "probably" cause cancer by the World Health Organization.

The FDA has reportedly been scolded in the past by the U.S. Government Accountability Office for not closely monitoring residues of the chemical on foods. That's starting to change, with soybeans, corn, milk, eggs and other foods to be tested by the FDA to check glyphosate levels.

The manufacturer of Roundup also has a controversial reputation because of its many genetically engineered foods that have led to health problems. A spokeswoman for parent company Monsanto, Charla Lord, defends the product by saying, "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…"

While France, Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden have all taken steps to reduce the amount of Roundup being used, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency actually raised the tolerance limits for human exposure to glyphosate for certain foods stating there is "reasonable certainty that no harm will result." But since 1996 there is now 50 times more glyphosate allowed on corn grain and the agency has also increased what it considers a safe amount of glyphosate exposure by a factor of 17. The EPA's high-end estimate of infant exposure to glyphosate exceeds the level the agency considered safe for them in 1983.

Bottom line: It's about time that foods got tested for crazy-high amounts of weed-killing chemicals on the food we put into our bodies. In the meantime, be sure to avoid these 23 Worst Food Additives in America so you know how to steer clear of even more chemicals and nasty ingredients.