Government scientists detected trace amounts of a pesticide many liberal activists think causes cancer in several commonly consumed foods, according to a report Monday from The Guardian.
Internal documents show Federal Drug Administration scientists are having a hard time finding any food that does not carry traces of glyphosate, a pesticide widely used on American crops. Activists believe the chemical is a deadly carcinogen, even though research on the pesticide has not concluded as much.
“I have brought wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal from home and there’s a fair amount in all of them,” FDA scientist Richard Thompson wrote in an email The Guardian obtained through public records request. Broccoli was the only food he found to be glyphosate-free, Thompson added.
The FDA is responsible for testing food samples for pesticide residues to determine illegally high levels. Consumer groups have criticized the FDA in the past for being too late to jump on the anti-glyphosate train — the pesticide has been in circulation for more than four decades.
Activist calls for more testing grew to a fevered pitch after the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015. IARC’s declaration was partially dependent on the research from a scientist who withheld evidence related to his findings.
Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina wrote a letter to the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in August 2017 notifying the agency that one if its scientists withheld evidence showing glyphosate does not cause cancer.
“The committee is concerned about these new revelations, especially given Dr. Blair’s apparent admission that the AHS study was ‘powerful,’ and would alter IARC’s analysis of glyphosate,” Gowdy wrote, referring to NCI scientist Aaron Blair’s decision to omit the research.
The omission resulted in the IARC concluding in 2015 that the herbicide probably was a carcinogen. Gowdy asked NIH for evidence laying out Blair’s decision to keep this separate study out of the IARC assessment. The conclusion had an impact on Monsanto, a large agribusiness that produces the weed killer Roundup, which contains glyphosate.
Monsanto, long a nemesis of the environmental movement, is trying to keep glyphosate off European lists of possibly carcinogenic chemicals. The European Chemical Agency (ECHA), which regulates chemicals on the market in Europe, ruled in March 2017 that “the available scientific evidence did not meet the criteria to classify glyphosate as a carcinogen.”
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