Last year, the World Health Organization announced that glyphosate–the world’s most widely used herbicide also known as Roundup–was a “probable human carcinogen.” Shortly thereafter, French officials banned sales of Roundup nationwide as Monsanto, Roundup’s manufacturer, prepared to stand trial for “crimes against humanity and the environment” in The Hague. The previous year, our own Government Accountability Office called out the Food and Drug Administration for its failure to test Roundup through the pesticide monitoring program because it was too “costly.” Then, studies released by private consumer groups like Moms Across America found that 70% of our water contained Roundup, and that our urine showed levels 10 times greater than that of Europeans. So really, what else could the FDA do?
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it would begin testing levels of glyphosate–aka Roundup–in soybeans, corn, milk and eggs, according to Civil Eats. If pesticide levels exceed those set by the EPA, the FDA has the authority to take action.
The move comes as the fight for GMO labeling comes to a head in Vermont, where a labeling mandate is scheduled to begin on July 1st. Labeling advocates are concerned about herbicide residues from crops that are “Roundup Ready”–genetically modified to remain undamaged when sprayed with massive doses of glyphosate–and have pushed for more transparency for consumers.