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Internal FDA E-Mail Reveals Glyphosate Weed Killer Was Found In Nearly Every Food Sample Tested

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The FDA has been testing samples of food products sold in the United States for residues of glyphosate. Internal e-mails revealed the weed killer was found in nearly every food sample tested.  ( Philippe Huguen | AFP/Getty Images )

Records obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that U.S. Food and Drug Administration scientists found glyphosate in almost every food sample they tested from honey, corn, wheat crackers, and oatmeal.

Glyphosate

A weed killer that has been linked to cancer is present in nearly all common food in the United States, a new report claims.

Glyphosate is used as an active ingredient in herbicide products including the widely used Monsanto's Roundup agricultural herbicides that control weeds and grasses in plants and crops.

In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the cancer research arm of the World Health Organization, said that glyphosate may most likely cause cancer. The carcinogenic claim, however, was not supported by other agencies such as the European Food Safety Authority and the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

"Glyphosate products can be safely used by following label directions," EPA said. "Glyphosate has low toxicity for humans."

FDA Testing Residues Of Glyphosate In Food

Since 2016, the FDA has been testing food products sold in the United States for residues of the chemical but the agency has not yet released an official result. Internal documents, however, revealed that FDA had trouble finding food without a trace of the pesticide.

FDA chemist Richard Thompson wrote in an email sent to his colleagues in January 2017 that he found a fair amount of glyphosate on nearly all of the food he bought.

The internal e-mail is one of the FDA communications that detailed the agency's efforts to test food samples for residues of herbicides including glyphosate.

Thompson wrote in the same e-mail that broccoli was the only food he had on hand that was glyphosate-free.

"I used broccoli because it's the only thing I have on hand that does not have glyphosate in it. I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal, and corn meal from home and there's a fair amount in all of them," Thompson wrote.

In 2016 records released by the FDA, an e-mail described the difficulty in finding honey that doesn't contain glyphosate. The so-called organic mountain honey was even found to have low concentrations of the chemical.

Monsanto, regulators, and those with interests in agrochemical industry claim that residues of pesticides are not harmful when they are under the legal limit. Carey Gillam, a public interest researcher for US Right to Know, wrote in The Guardian that many scientists dispute this, citing that prolonged dietary exposure could be harmful.

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