In February 2016, after years of pressure from a myriad of different groups, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began the preliminary rounds of testing in a study to see what types of unintended chemical compounds were being ingested by unsuspecting Americans. One of the chemicals that they were particularly concerned about was a compound known as glyphosate. Glyphosate is the active chemical many of the pesticides used by Monsanto. Infamously, the agricultural giant lied about glyphosate’s impact on humans and the potential health risks that come with its use – don’t worry, they’re being sued. It is also the lethal ingredient in Roundup – the toxic sludge your parents would use to wither weeds that could have withstood a nuclear bomb.

One would think it wouldn’t be unnecessary to petition the FDA to find out if this terrifying substance was in our food – especially after the World Health Organization released a study in March of 2015 showing that glyphosate is almost certainly carcinogenic and can possibly cause permanent genetic damage – but it is.

The FDA recently announced that they would be stopping these tests for an undetermined amount of time. This is not even a month after an FDA chemist presented findings that showed that glyphosate is present in commons supermarket goods like baby food and Cheerios.  Wait what? It’s scary enough that this stuff could be in our food, but it’s terrifying that the FDA is turning a blind eye to it.

The FDA was founded in order to regulate the safety and quality of food that makes it into Americans’ kitchens and onto their plates. Before they stopped, the FDA confirmed that they found glyphosate in honey as well as in oats. They have not released their findings on the test they ran with corn, soy, barley, wheat, sugar beets, and rice, but the findings of numerous non-profits have been uniformly sinister: a huge portion of America’s food has trace amounts of glyphosate.

Food Democracy Now! released an extensive study that found, “extremely high levels of the pesticide glyphosate in some of America’s most popular food products.” Now nobody can accuse the FDA doing a great job but this oversight seems so egregious that it is almost unfathomable.

So while the FDA sits idly by, what can we as concerned citizens and consumers do? One of the best and easiest things to do is eat organic. Monica Kruger, an expert in environmental and analytical toxicology who worked on the Food Democracy Now! study stated, “Glyphosate was significantly higher in humans [fed] conventional [food] compared with predominantly organic [fed] humans. Also the glyphosate residues in urine were grouped according to the human health status. Chronically ill humans had significantly higher
glyphosate residues in urine than healthy humans”

There are already so many reasons to eat organic foods that it seems redundant to add another one – but here it is: the non-organic stuff in your supermarket might have Roundup chemicals in it.

Image source:Maria Sbytova/Shutterstock