The FDA Will Finally Test Food for Traces of the Weed Killer Roundup

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The popular cancer flavor.
The popular cancer flavor.

Roundup is an herbicide so good at sending weeds “to the great beyond” that the WHO says it “probably” causes cancer — and now the FDA is finally taking measures to keep it out of food. The specifics are still under wraps, but the agency has at least confirmed that sometime this year it will start testing foods sold in the U.S. for traces of the controversial weed killer. Glyphosate, as it’s known generically, is the most heavily used agricultural chemical on the planet, more prevalent on farms than it is in driveways despite some tests showing it disrupts hormones and that frogs mistake it for a predator.

The FDA says the wait was because the methods available for testing were too “cost- and labor-intensive to implement” until now. The popular chemical has its defenders outside of Monsanto, and there’s debate over how much glyphosate actually sticks around from field to plate, but the fact that a bottle of Roundup is no one’s idea of a good condiment isn’t under dispute.

Monsanto released a statement saying if and when the FDA starts testing, the company is positive it’ll “reaffirm the safe use of this vital tool” used by farmers. It’s tense: Lawsuits over the years have forced the company to quit pretending Roundup is “biodegradable,” “safer than table salt,” and “practically nontoxic” to living creatures.

[Civil Eats via Newsweek]

FDA to Test Food for the Weed Killer Roundup