July 19, 2013 EPA massively increase allowable herbicide levels in food, despite public outcry
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which these days would more aptly be titled the Chemical Protection Agency, has passed a new regulation change that will massively increase the maximum allowable levels of herbicide residue in food. According to the new regulation, the EPA has doubled the amount of glyphosate (Roundup) residue legally allowed on oilseed crops like canola and soy that are intended for human consumption, even though this will create a significant public health hazard.
Genetically-modified (GM) crop technology is an ever-evolving process that, contrary to industry claims, requires increasingly more and varying types of pesticides in order to generate yields. But the previous legal framework prohibited the excessive use of such crop chemicals as they are a clear threat to human health. So to accommodate the biotechnology industry, the EPA has simply rewritten its own rules so that more of the chemical can legally be applied to GM crops without consequence.
“[T]he new EPA regulation [will] allow ‘oilseed’ crops such as flax, canola, and soybean oil to contain glyphosate at levels up to 40 parts per million (ppm), up from 20 ppm, which is over 100,000 times the concentration needed to induce the growth of human breast cancer cells in vitro,” explainsGMWatch.org. “It also raises the allowable glyphosate contamination level for food crops such as potatoes from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm.”
Glyphosate is extremely toxic even at low levels; tell EPA to restrict its use, not expand it
Glyphosate, of course, is Monsanto’s go-to chemical herbicide for use on its extensive array of patented, GM crops. The biotech giant has lobbied heavily over the years to keep glyphosate in widespread use, despite its long-term environmental persistence and extreme toxicity. Numerous recent studies, in fact, have linked glyphosate exposure to conditions such as severe organ damage, gut microbe destruction, and cancer.
Even at what would otherwise be considered trace levels, glyphosate has proven immeasurably toxic to humans in all sorts of ways. A responsible EPA with integrity and a commitment to protecting public health would have worked towards eliminating glyphosate from use altogether. But instead, the corrupt agency has betrayed the public trust by supporting the increased use of glyphosate at the expense of environmental and human health.
“The EPA is failing to protect human health and the environment by neglecting to regulate the excessive use of herbicide,” states a recent petition created by the group Food & Water Watch. which tried to stop the new regulation’s passage. “Instead, it is just changing its own rules to allow the irresponsible and potentially dangerous applications to continue.”
EPA has been bought and paid for by Monsanto
It is a fact that the EPA never even conducted its own independent safety tests on glyphosate prior to approving its use. The agency simply accepted whatever data was thrown at it by Monsanto as “evidence” of the chemical’s safety. Today, glyphosate is being found in rivers, lakes, groundwater, and the food supply, not to mention in human blood, as a direct result of the EPA’s negligence in properly regulating its use.
“Glyphosate has been shown by a number of studies to cause cancer and other inflammatory diseases,” wrote one commenter at the Washington Times. “The U.S. has a considerably higher cancer rate than other countries. It also has a considerably higher rate of other diseases. Generally, as was found by medical research, Americans suffer from more pain and illness during their lifetime than their peers in other countries.”
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Thursday, July 18, 2013 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer