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article imageTesting for glyphosate residues being recommended by EPA

By Karen Graham     Apr 21, 2015 in Environment
Perhaps bowing to public concerns over the safety of the active ingredient, glyphosate, in Monsanto's Roundup. the Environmental Protection Agency is considering asking the federal government to test foods for glyphosate residue.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) told Reuters on Friday testing of food products for residues of the world's most widely used herbicide was being considered because of growing concerns by the public about possible disease links.
The response by the EPA is also due to increased scrutiny of the effects of glyphosate on humans, especially after the World Health Organization (WHO) released a report last month classifying glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic to humans." The herbicide is considered safe by the EPA as well as by many other governments around the world.
Glyphosate is routinely used on wheat, corn, soybean, and sugar beet crops, as well as many others around the world. And with the increase in the number of genetically engineered crops developed to withstand glyphosates has come an increase in the herbicide's use.
Worldwide, about 650,000 tons of glyphosate herbicides were used, with sales of around US$6.5 billion in 2010. Since that time, usage has increased and many industry analysts are estimating the global glyphosate use could double by 2017. In the U.S. in 2010, 84,000 tons of glyphosates were used.
The U.S. government tests hundreds of products each year for pesticides herbicides, fungicides, and other agriculture chemicals but does not specifically test for glyphosates because they consider them to be safe. The EPA shares responsibility for testing with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Monsanto, the makers of Roundup, responded to the WHO report in April, saying the results were not based on any new scientific evidence, and the claim that glyphosate could potentially cause cancer went against conclusions reached by governing agencies around the globe.
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