The FDA is under tremendous pressure from the public for testing food samples in the US. The market is conceiving thought that the major chunk of US foods comes loaded with pesticides that can cause massive loss to the national health. The market’s even conceiving the thought that the presence of pesticides can even trigger cancer.
Examining the honey samples, collected across various sites in the US, the FDA has collated evidence that the samples feature the presence of weed killers. This stuff can be pervasive. The samples FDA collated and examined in recent times, exhibited the presence of glyphosate residues.
Few of the samples exhibited the presence of this residue in double the extent, permitted in the European countries. This information came up through the request made on Freedom of Information enactment. The US market never had any legitimate tolerance limit for glyphosate in the US.
Glyphosate is one of the most commonly used weed killer across the world. There have been great concerns and tensions about the presence of this residue in food. Even the WHO expressed its concern in this regard.
The experts from WHO gave the verdict that this residue tentatively acts as a human carcinogen. A camp of international scientists has voiced the concern about the alarming use of glyphosate and its brutal effects on the environment and global health.
FDA records and the data avail with the Agricultural Department of the US reveal several key points that are especially relevant to the context of this discussion. These documents accounted for the efforts that the US government had made to bring situations under control.
Besides honey, wheat and soybean samples even exhibited the presence of glyphosate residues. Hence, the experts formed a notion that even the other crops can even join this list in the long run.
Though the FDA examines the food samples every year for the presence of pesticides, the testing for glyphosate residues got never conducted in a decade’s time. In February, the FDA expressed the plan to start the examination for these residues again.
It was probably influenced by the rising number of researchers, undergoing study on glyphosate residues. Oatmeal, Flour, and cereals are the foods that are majorly examined by the individual researchers.
The debate about the residues has come to the spotlight exactly at the time EPS concluded a risk assessment for determining whether if restrictions need to be imposed on the use of herbicides. A public meeting has got scheduled in Washington between 18th and 21st October.
The FDA documents feature an email that describes that the buyers really get it tough to find honey without the glyphosate residue. The sender of the email has collected 10 different samples from different locations and each of these samples feature the presence of the herbicide residue in alarming extent. Even the organic honey failed to earn a clean chit, though the percentage of the residue was to the minimal extent.
As per the FDA documents, samples that the FDA Chemist tested displayed the presence of residue to the extent of 107 PPB. As usual, the marketers market these products, claiming all-natural, organic and other appealing words. However, none the brands delivered what it preaches.
The question that comes up in this regard is about the party that is imposing such a peril in the foods. Who is the party held responsible? Is it the bee farmers who should get alleged in this regard?
Research data shows that the bee farmers are not violating the laws. Though it might sound strange, the bees itself are imposing the residues in the honey. The presence of this residue is technically a violation of the food safety act. It makes the honey unsafe for consumption.
EPA is completely aware of the instances and hence, the market expected that the agency will set a tolerance mark for honey. After EPA sets such level, there will come up another twist in the story. It is because; in case the EPA is setting the tolerance level leniently, automatically the question of violation will disappear.
On the other hand, if the agency turns highly rigid, nearly all the brands will end up violating the tolerance level. The agency stated that no requests are pending with it in this regard. However, the agency stated that no dietary threats persist to the presence of glyphosate residues in honey.
Bill Huser, VP- Sioux Honey stated that this herbicide gets applied commonly to farm fields, having a high concentration of bees. The bees carry the pesticides back to its hives, the production site for natural honey. Mr. Huser stated very rightly, that the industry has nothing to do in this regard.
It is especially relevant to state that the FDA report was the not the first instance to disclose the presence of glyphosate residues in Honey. ABRAXIS conducted a research in 2015 that accounted for similar results.
Bee Keepers stated that they are becoming the innocent victim as they have no other options than to witness the contamination of the honey through a very natural and obvious act by the bees.
FDA authorities kept silent on the question about the extent of communication they had with Monsanto about the residual testing. However, the record accounted for the fact that the parties had several interactions in between them.
FDA conducts routine checks to determine the presence of pesticides. However, glyphosate never gets a special mention. The agency is considering its new stand of focusing on this pesticide as a special assignment. It initiated only after the role of the agency was vehemently criticized as it failed to check the rising level of glyphosate residue in foods.
Though the FDA is yet to officially publish the results of the testing, Sack came up with a presentation to the Council for specialty crops in California, stating the agency is testing 300 corn samples, 120 samples for eggs and milk as well as more than 300 Soy samples.
The presentation exhibited the finding that the company found the glyphosate residue in 52 corn samples and 44 soybean samples. However, in neither of these cases, the level has crossed the extent of tolerance. This presentation never included the reports on honey.
The USDA is about to start the glyphosate testing, somewhere from the next year. A vision document expressed that the testing will focus on oils and syrups, once it starts in 2017.