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FDA to Begin Testing for Glyphosate Residue on Food
On February 18, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration confirmed that it would soon start testing food products for glyphosate residue. Glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, has been linked to the development of cancer in people exposed to the product.
According to an article that appeared February 19 on the website of Newsweek magazine, an FDA spokeswoman said that glyphosate testing did not take place earlier because it would have been too labor intensive as well as too expensive. However, new, streamlined methods for testing for the chemical have been developed. The spokeswoman was also quoted as saying that testing is expected to begin later this year to measure residue of the chemical in many different types of foods, including milk, eggs, corn and soybeans.
According to research published in Environmental Sciences Europe, nearly 2 million tons of Roundup have been sprayed in the U.S since it was introduced to the market in 1974. More than five times that amount – approximately 9.4 million tons – has been sprayed worldwide. That is enough, according to the publication, to disperse approximately a half-pound of Roundup on every acre of cultivated land in the world.
But those incredible totals may eventually be a thing of the past as governments worldwide consider ways to curb the use of Roundup. The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark and France have moved to either restrict Roundup use or limit the sale of the product.
Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, is also the target of several lawsuits filed by plaintiffs who claim exposure to the herbicide caused them to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. They claim the company knowingly withheld information regarding glyphosate health risks in order to continue reaping profits.