FDA spokeswoman Megan McSeveney confirmed the testing suspension and said the agency is not sure when tests will resume. There was disagreement and confusion on establishing a standard methodology across multiple labs, and some labs needed more sensitive equipment, according to the Huffington Post.

The FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) routinely test food for residues of hundreds of chemicals. Glyphosate is the most widely-used herbicide in the world, sprayed on over 80% of croplands in the U.S., but the FDA has never tested food for its residues.

The USDA only tested for glyphosate once — back in 2011. Out of 300 samples of soybeans, 271 had glyphosate residues. The range was 0.26 to 18.5 parts per million (ppm), which was lower than the limit of 20 ppm. Two years later, the EPA raised the limit to 40 ppm.

Soybeans are primarily grown to feed animals like chickens and cows. It remains an open question how much glyphosate — if any — is passed into eggs and milk that millions of Americans eat every day.

In November 2014, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) criticized the FDA for not testing food for glyphosate, the “most used agricultural pesticide,” and other common pesticides with EPA limits.

In February 2016, the FDA said it would pay $5 million to nine independent laboratories to test foods for glyphosate residues. The preliminary test results were never released by the FDA, but a consumer advocacy group recently got some of the results with a court order.

The FDA tested 10 samples of honey from grocery stores in Florida, Ohio, and Louisiana. All of them had glyphosate, even those marked 100% pure, all-natural, or organic. The FDA chemist had trouble finding “clean” honey to use as a comparison. One sample had twice the limit set in the European Union.

Meanwhile, other consumer groups are wasting no time in conducting their own tests. Just days ago, a laboratory in San Francisco tested 29 snacks, crackers, cookies, and cereals commonly found in grocery stores for glyphosate residues. The highest amount was found in General Mills’ Cheerios — 1.125 ppm.

Source: Huffington Post

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