The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will this year begin testing some food products for residues of glyphosate—the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup—the agency told reporters last week (via Civil Eats). Scientists have long debated the chemical’s link to cancers, among other things.
“The agency is now preparing plans for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” FDA spokesperson Lauren Sucher wrote in an email to Newsweek.
“If there is evidence of problems that keep coming up, and the chemical is in such widespread use, we need to study it,” Ana Soto of Tufts University School of Medicine told Science News. “That’s not revolutionary, that’s common sense.”
A spokesperson for Monsanto, which produces Roundup, responded to the FDA’s announcement in emails to Civil Eats and Newsweek. “No data have ever indicated residue levels [on food] of more than a fraction of EPA’s very conservative Allowable Daily Intake or any level of concern,” Charla Lord wrote. “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 used safely and effectively by farmers, landowners and homeowners around the world.”
Thumbnail image: FLICKR, MIKE MOZART