Recently we reported that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a draft report on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. This was in advance of a meeting in which a panel of scientists would discuss the available data on glyphosate and its potential to cause cancer—but that meeting never happened. It was postponed, ostensibly because the agency was seeking additional experts so there could be a more “robust review of the data.” The biotech industry is going all out to stop this review. CropLife America, the trade group for the nation’s largest biotech and pesticide manufacturers, strenuously objected to the government reviewing the cancer data, telling the EPA that there is no need to discuss the issue at all! Outrageously, CropLife also called for the removal of any scientist from the panel who has “publicly expressed an opinion regarding the carcinogenicity of glyphosate.” The trade group kindly offered the names of scientists who should be removed from the reviewing panel to restore “impartiality.”
The results of government testing of our foods for pesticide residues may not be quite what we expected. Every year the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) targets certain food materials which they consider high risks, collects samples from warehouses and storage facilities, and tests them for a wide array of pesticides they deem likely to be present. These Pesticide Data Program (PDP) reports are one of many taxpayer funded activities designed to fulfill the agency's congressional goals and mandates. The latest published report from December 2014 reveals that the world's most widely-used herbicide, glyphosate, was not even tested. Neither were wheat products grown in the U.S. With all the glyphosate studies showing microbiome impacts and chelation of toxic minerals (aluminum), why no sampling of glyphosate? Is cost really so prohibitive with our federal budget, while we see escalating chronic health problems? Or, are the chemical companies behind the most popular herbicide in the world putting pressure on the federal government not to do anything that would put a dent in the sale of their products?