A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Guardian newspaper has uncovered documents confirming that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has quietly been testing food samples to check for glyphosate residues but has not released its findings to the public. The Guardian notes that the agency has struggled to find any foods that have not been contaminated by this herbicide.
In an email to some of his colleagues, FDA chemist Richard Thompson noted, “I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them.” He noted that the only food he had on hand that was not found to contain glyphosate traces was broccoli.
Even though the documents reveal that some of the foods tested contained 6.5 parts per million of glyphosate – well above the legal limit of 5.0 ppm – the FDA insists that these results don’t count, since the foods used in the tests were not “official” samples.
Back in 2015, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) labeled the herbicide glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans,”and linked it to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
The IARC report noted:
Glyphosate currently has the highest global production volume of all herbicides. The largest use worldwide is in agriculture. The agricultural use of glyphosate has increased sharply since the development of crops that have been genetically modified to make them resistant to glyphosate. Glyphosate is also used in forestry, urban, and home applications. Glyphosate has been detected in the air during spraying, in water, and in food. The general population is exposed primarily through residence near sprayed areas, home use, and diet, and the level that has been observed is generally low.
The FDA insists that though it has discovered glyphosate residues on so many of the foods tested, these levels are low and are therefore not cause for concern. As such, they feel it is not in the public’s best interest to make their findings known.