A year ago the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) declared that the widely used herbicide glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. In the U.S. glyphosate is sold under the brand name Roundup. This herbicide has been rather controversial for some time, perhaps because its use is associated with GMO crops that are themselves a source of contention.
Does Food Contain Measurable Amounts of Roundup?
Now the FDA says it will start testing food for glyphosate residue. Two years ago the Government Accountability Office criticized the FDA for being lax on monitoring residues of this herbicide. The FDA countered that testing was extremely labor-intensive and it did not have the necessary manpower.
Now the agency says it has developed a streamlined method to make such testing feasible. This should tell us whether corn and soybeans that have been genetically modified to be “Roundup ready” so that they are not killed by the herbicide have unacceptably high levels of glyphosate.
Monsanto Denies Problems with Glyphosate:
Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, rejects the idea that glyphosate is a carcinogen. While several European countries have acted to reduce human exposure to this herbicide, U.S. regulators have not taken such action.
Moreover, the EU is poised for a contentious decision shortly. All 28 member states will meet in private next week to consider whether glyphosate use should be authorized in the European Union until 2031. The European Food Safety Authority has ruled recently that glyphosate is not likely to cause cancer, putting the EFSA at odds with IARC.