Move comes after US Government Accountability Office (GAO) rebuked the agency for failing to do such tests
The US FDA plans to start testing certain foods for residues of glyphosate herbicides after the World Health Organisation’s cancer experts classed the chemical as a probable human carcinogen, according to an article by Carey Gillam in Civil Eats.
The FDA’s move comes amid growing public concern about the safety of glyphosate herbicides, and after the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) rebuked the agency for failing to do such assessments and for not disclosing that shortcoming to the public.
The GAO reported that it found multiple deficiencies in the FDA’s pesticide residue testing program, and specifically cited a failure to test for glyphosate, which the GAO called the “most used agricultural pesticide”.
“Maybe we shamed them into it,” said John Neumann, a spokesman for the GAO FDA report.
FDA officials said the issue was “sensitive” and declined to provide details of the plans, but FDA spokeswoman Lauren Sucher said the agency will test for glyphosate for the first time in the agency’s history.
“The agency is now considering assignments for Fiscal Year 2016 to measure glyphosate in soybeans, corn, milk, and eggs, among other potential foods,” she said. GM corn and soybeans are commonly sprayed with glyphosate.