The Food and Drug Administration of the USA, started testing foods for residues of glyphosate. It has found cancer-linked pesticides in several kinds of oat varieties such as flavored and plain oat cereals for babies.
At a meeting in July in Florida, an FDA expert have presented to other experts the collected data about traces of glyphosate in certain foods. Glyphosate was found in a few variations of infant oat cereals especially the banana and banana-strawberry flavored types. It was also found in the maple brown sugar, cinnamon spice and cream and peach instant oatmeal. The results detected levels of glyphosate ranging from zero in some organic varieties of oat products to 1.67 ppm in non-organic products.
Glyphosate is one active substance in Monsanto’s Roundup, one of the most used pesticide for killing weeds in the world. A team of international cancer experts claim that glyphosate is a probable human carcinogen. Other experts concern about the impact of the heavy use of glyphosate on the human health and environment.
According to EPA, the glyphosate would not probably cause cancer and has a tolerance levels for the residues in oats and other varieties of food. The FDA dates indicate oat levels that belong to the allowed tolerances, which EPA has set at 30 ppm. In the European Union, the tolerance level in oats is 20 ppm.
Monsanto derives almost a third of its $15 billion in annual revenues from the products based on glyphosate. This has helped EPA to set the tolerance levels of glyphosate in food and even in 2013 has requested and also received a higher level of toleration for many foods. Monsanto has developed genetically modified crops, created to be directly sprayed with glyphosate. Sugar beets, soybeans, corn and canola are modified in that way to withstand being sprayed with this chemical.
Oats are not a genetically modified crops but Monsanto has encouraged the farmers to spray the oats and other non-genetically modified crops with Roundup before harvest. This can dry down or dry out the maturity of the crop.
The pre-harvest control application is a perfect strategy that not only control perennial weeds but facilitates the harvest and the head start of the next year’s crop.
The pre-harvest staging guide of Monsanto indicates that in Canada, the world’s largest oat producers and supplier to the USA Monsanto publicize the benefits of glyphosate for oats: The pre-harvest implementation of Roundup Transorb HC and Roundup Weather MAX can be applied to the different kinds of oats such as milling oats for human consumption.
EPA assesses that almost 100,000 pound of glyphosate are being used annually in the oat production in the USA.
Also, glyphosate is used on wheat before harvest. The department of Agriculture from the USA divided the Grain, Inspection, Packers and Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) to test the glyphosate residues in wheat for export purposes. It has detected more than 40% of hundreds of wheat samples checked in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 in fiscal.
Although, FDA inspects the residues of many different pesticides in foods, it skips the glyphosate residues many years ago. In February, this year, the agency pointed out that will start this type of analysis. For this reason, many independent experts started their own testing and detected the glyphosate residues in vast number of products such as cereal, oatmeal and flour.
The US regulators and Monsanto claim that this level of glyphosate is too low to refer to any health problems in humans. The critics assure that these points are meaningless and the government just routinely tests those levels in relation to other types of pesticides.
However, many people do not believe that glyphosate is safe in food. For example, in Taiwan more than 130,000 pound of oats were recalled as a result of detection of glyphosate residues.
Danielle Cooper, a San Francisco resident, accused the Quaker Oats Co for the found glyphosate residues in their oats which are labelled as 100% natural and pesticide free. She points out that glyphosate is a really perilous active ingredient that can cause many health problems.
Quaker oats asserts that the levels of glyphosate found in their products are on a safe level and they offer high quality products.
FDA and EPA Drop the Ball on Honey
FDA has tested samples of honey which showed certain levels of glyphosate in them. Some of the samples detected levels that were above the allowed levels of glyphosate according to the European Union. This level of glyphosate could not be tolerated and many legal problems have arisen.
The FDA did not announce the honey companies nor informed the public for it. It has examined soy, milk, eggs and corn and no residues that are the above level were found.
A leading FDA chemist, Dr. Chamkasem from Atlanta, examined 19 samples of honey in an individual project.
Certain sources indicate that there is a suggestion of closing the FDA laboratory and shifting the work to other associations in the country. However, the FDA did not comment on this.
The USA and European regulators evaluate the negative effects of glyphosate to the environment and humans.
In October, there is a four days meeting held by EPA about a cancer research in relation to glyphosate.
According to the chairman of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Mr. Blair, the glyphosate is a carcinogenic substance to humans and the science is still evolving about this topic. He claims that is takes many years for the regulators and industry to accept certain findings and find a reach a consensus.
He pointed out that until now, IARC has not shown something as probable carcinogen and later it turned not to be.