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Why is the allowable limit of glyphosate in U.S. food 300 times higher than in Taiwan?


Glyphosate
(NaturalNews) Taiwan has demanded a recall of Quaker Oats oatmeal products imported from the United States after random tests detected the presence of glyphosate at levels exceeding the country's maximum limit.

10 out of 36 Quaker Oats products tested contained glyphosate residue in amounts higher than the Taiwanese Food and Drug Administration's legal limit of 0.1 parts per million (ppm).

The recall involved 62,000 kilograms of oatmeal and could cost Quaker Oats up to $6 million USD in fines for the violation.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and has been classified as "likely carcinogenic" by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is the most widely used herbicide in history and is used in conjunction with Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" GMO crops, which are modified to be resistant to glyphosate.

Aside from cancer, glyphosate has also been linked to other serious health risks, including birth defects, heart disease, diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer's.

Unlike the United States, Taiwan has strict regulations on GMOs and glyphosate.

From EcoWatch.com:

"Commercial cultivation of genetically modified crops is banned in Taiwan, and the country has mandated labels on all food products containing GMO ingredients. Additionally, as EcoWatch reported, in December 2015, Taiwan banned schools across the nation from serving GMOs to students, citing health and safety concerns."

Maximum allowed levels of glyphosate on the increase in the U.S.

The maximum legal level of glyphosate residue allowed in the United States is 30.0 ppm - a limit 300 times higher than Taiwan, and higher than the EU and Japan (20 ppm), Canada (15 ppm) and Australia (0.1 ppm).

In fact, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been quietly increasing maximum allowable glyphosate levels in food.

These increases have been in response to gradually increasing levels of glyphosate residues found in U.S. food supplies, which in turn has prompted Monsanto and other players in the industry to successfully pressure the FDA into raising the legal limits accordingly.

Industry influence on regulatory agencies

Dr. Charles Benbrook, a researcher who has studied trends in glyphosate use, said: [t]o cover such residues, Monsanto and other glyphosate registrants have requested, and generally been granted, substantial increases in glyphosate tolerance levels in several crops, as well as in the animal forages derived from such crops."

From EWG.org:

"[E]ver since genetically engineered crops came on the market and drove up the use of Roundup, the EPA has been ratcheting up the allowable levels of glyphosate residue for certain crops...

"For instance, between 1999 and 2015 the EPA approved a doubling of tolerable residues on soybean grain and a 49-fold increase on corn grain. And shockingly, since 1993 the agency has approved a 2,000-fold increase in the tolerance level of glyphosate residues on alfalfa grown for animal feed. The agency has also increased the allowable level of glyphosate for wheat – up 5-fold between 2012 and 2015 – running the risk of glyphosate ending up in flour. Testing has also turned up glyphosate in samples of honey, soy sauce, infant formula and even breast milk."


There is abundant evidence of industry influence over regulatory agencies in the United States and elsewhere. It is also clear that in the United States and many other countries, maximum acceptable limits of glyphosate are not determined according to actual health risk, but according to how much of the poison is already in our food supply and how much pressure is applied to these regulatory agencies by corporations like Monsanto.

From IndependentScienceNews.org:

"How is the public to trust a risk assessment system that has overlooked the most obvious risk factor for herbicide tolerant GM crops, i.e. high residue levels of herbicides, for nearly 20 years? If it has been due to lack of understanding, it would be bad. If it is the result of the producer's power to influence the risk assessment system, it would be worse."

Unfortunately, the latter appears to be the case...

Sources:
https://ecowatch.com/2016/05/27/taiwan-quaker-oats-glyphosate/
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org
http://enveurope.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s12302-016-0070-0
http://www.ewg.org
www.independentsciencenews.org
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