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The FDA in the Unites States has silently started to evaluate certain food residues to determine the presence of weed killer chemicals. Experts have found that these chemical residues can trigger cancer. Oat products, both the flavored and plain varieties get alleged of this threat.
FDA Chemist has compiled the data and presented the finding to other chemists in a meeting hosted in Florida. These pesticide residues are known as Glyphosate. This residual gets found in different varieties of oat cereals for the infants.
Most commonly, these residual found in the strawberry and banana flavored cereals. In addition, the similar residues found in cinnamon spice, maple brown sugar as well as the peach cream. The sample results shared between the chemists, the level got evaluated around the range of 1.67 parts/million.
Glyphosate is the primary ingredient found in the Roundup herbicide from Monsanto Company. It is the most commonly applied weed killer across the world. Concerns revolving around this weed killer came to the focus after a cancer specialist from WHO popularized the possibilities that these residues can trigger cancer.
This statement came out in the year 2015. Another flock of scientists raised the concern on the massive application of this weed killer as it is immensely impacting the environment as well as global health.
EPA’s opinion on the weed killer residues
The EPA holds the notion that this weed killer residue is not a factor in triggering cancer. Consequently, the tolerance level for this residue as in oats as well as in other foods got established by these experts.
FDA experts found that the level of such residues in the food was still inside the tolerance level of 30 PPM. IN the US, the tolerance level for such chemicals is quite higher that the level allowed in other countries. As, for instance, within the European Union, this level stands at 20 PPM, as for Oats.
Monsanto generates almost 1/3rd of its total revenues from the GGlyphosate-based products. The company has collaborated with EPA for setting the tolerance limit of Glyphosate in food. In 2013, the company has requested as well as received higher tolerance level for the majority of the foods.
The company developed crops engineering it genetically. Soybeans, corn, sugar beets and Canola got engineered genetically for spraying along with Glyphosate.
Oats never underwent genetically engineered. However, the company has encouraged peasants for spraying oats as well as other crops that got modified non-genetically. This got done along with the Glyphosate herbicides, just before the harvest time. This approach can assist in drying as well as reap the crop. The pre-harvest weed management solutions are truly a worthy strategy. In addition to its capacity to control the weeds, it can even support harvest management, stated the Pre-harvest guide, the company published.
The role Monsanto played to aware people about the outcome of the presence of weed killer residues
Canada is one of the top oat producers around the world and it’s the biggest exporter of this cereal in the United States. The company touted marketing materials in Canada that canvassed the advantages of spraying this weed killer on oat fields.
Hence, the weed killer is massively used by the Oat farmers in the US. As per the EPA’s estimation, annually, almost 1000, 000-pound Glyphosate gets applied in Oat production in the US.
In addition to oat production, this weed killer finds application in wheat production as well as for harvesting other cereals. A governmental agency in the US is undergoing the assessment to find the presence of weed killer residues in Oat and wheat.
The evaluation determines the presence of this weed killer over 40% of the samples that underwent the test. The figure was more or less similar in the span of the year 2009 and 2012.
Though the FDA evaluates the food for the presence of residues, the agency has skipped the evaluation for Glyphosate for decades. In February 2016, the agency stated that it will initiate the assessment for the presence of Glyphosate residue.
These observations came up subsequent to various researchers underwent private testing that accounted the presence of Glyphosate in arrays of foods. The list majorly includes oatmeal, flours as well as other cereals.
Opinion of the US experts on the topic
The US regulators, as well as the Monsanto officials, stated that their research found the level of residues within the tolerance level. The level is too gentle to trigger any health hazards. However, experts are of the opinion that you should not give a clean chit, relying on these assurances, unless the routine evaluation gets conducted by Government agencies, as it gets done with other pesticides.
Another camp of experts holds the notion that even if the level of the residues gets accessed within the apparent tolerance level, still it is a threat to the human health. Glyphosate is an alarming substance and hence, the dangers should get disclosed. Quaker Oats stated that the minimal trace of Glyphosate residue is absolutely safe and it never degrades the product’s qualitative standing.
Herbicide residues in honey
Besides Oats, the FDA conducted the assessment on Honey samples, earlier the ongoing year. It got done to evaluate the presence of Glyphosate residues. The evaluation produced the observation that all the samples contained the traces of Glyphosate residues. In some instances, the residual extent even crossed double the figure of the tolerance level, permitted in the European countries.
The EPA is yet to establish a tolerance level for Glyphosate as in Honey. Hence, from the legal perspectives, the finding never contradicted the prevailing enactments.
In spite of the discussion on the needs for pursuing action, consequent to the evaluation conducted in January, the FDA never notified the Honey manufacturers about the finding that their products contained the traces of glyphosate residues. Likewise, even the public was in the dark.
The FDA underwent testing for corns, eggs, soybeans as well as dairy products. These tests never found the presence of these residues that can trigger adverse health effects. The primary results displayed no contradictions made in the samples, undergoing the tests.
But, this special assignment is a perpetual process and the entire results need to undergo the quality control steps, as set by the FDA. The testing for honey was never a component of the official assignment.
Dr. Narong Chamkasem, an Atlanta-based research chemist with FDA, evaluated 19 honey samples in the course of the research project that the researcher conducted.
The Glyphosate Residue evaluation by the FDA can head towards a slowdown. The course of action reportedly shifted over other facilities, across the country.