FDA reportedly to begin testing for glyphosate residues in foods.

  • Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup and is reported to be the most-used agricultural chemical in the world.  The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has labeled this herbicide as “probably carcinogenic to humans,” although the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) disputes that conclusion.  In the United States, FDA has not routinely tested foods for the presence of glyphosate, in spite of a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommendation that the Agency improve its testing methods and be more transparent with the public regarding the limitations of its analytical testing.
  • According to numerous media reports, an FDA spokesperson recently announced that the Agency will begin testing foods for glyphosate residues.  The Agency reportedly has developed more “streamlined” methods to test for this chemical and is preparing plans to measure glyphosate levels in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential food products, in Fiscal Year 2016.
  • Glyphosate remains the subject of global controversy, with some environmental groups calling for a ban on use of the substance in agriculture.  Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, maintains that the herbicide is safe and has expressed confidence that FDA’s residue testing — if done in a scientifically rigorous manner — will reaffirm glyphosate’s safety.