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FDA to test foods for controversial herbicide

Evidence mixed on glyphosate’s health effects

By
3:56pm, February 19, 2016
glyphosate

CROP COVER  The FDA will begin testing food for the herbicide glyphosate, which is in widespread use, thanks in part to the development of crops genetically engineered to tolerate it. 

The U.S. government will test various foods for exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in several herbicides.

Tests on foods including soybeans, corn, milk and eggs are set to begin this year, says Food and Drug Administration spokesperson Lauren Sucher. In 2014, the Government Accountability Office called on the FDA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to strengthen their monitoring of glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world. Previously, methods for such testing would have been too costly and labor intensive, Sucher says, but new methods now make it more feasible.  

Evidence for glyphosate’s ill effects is mixed and often clouded by spin on both sides. But there is little doubt that human exposure has increased along with a sharp increase in the herbicide

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