(Beyond Pesticides, June 28, 2013) The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to raise the allowable limits of the herbicide glyphosate (Roundup) in certain food commodities like carrots, sweet potato, and mustard seeds. Some of the allowable limits, or tolerances, will more than double! Increasing the levels of Roundup on food will pave the way for an overall increase in the use of this chemical in agriculture. The problem is Roundup is toxic to human and environmental health. In fact, a recent MIT study finds that glyphosate‚Äôs interference with important enzymes in the body can lead to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer‚Äôs disease. Drinking water contaminated with Roundup can lead to congestion of the lungs and increased breathing rate, as well as kidney damage and reproductive effects.
Given that alternative methods of growing food and managing weeds are available, like those that exist in organic agriculture, it is unreasonable for EPA to increase human exposures to Roundup.
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I am very concerned about the increase in the allowable levels of glyphosate in my diet. EPA should not be supporting an increase in human exposures to this herbicide, given the ecological and human health dangers that recent science has shown to be associated with glyphosate. Recent studies have linked glyphosate to endocrine disruption, increased risk of breast cancer, reproductive and liver damage. It also threatens amphibian and fish species, as well as contaminates waterways. Additionally, EPA‚Äôs review of the chemical is ongoing and must be completed before any adjustments to allowable food residues are made.
Given the available, sustainable alternatives to growing food in the U.S., including those of organic agriculture, it is unreasonable that EPA would increase human exposures to glyphosate. We urge the agency to reconsider and uphold its statutory authority to protect human and environmental health from glyphosate by not increasing the levels of this chemical in our diets.
Thank you for consideration of my comments.
Organic Solutions Pave a Way Forward
Sustainable, integrated farming solutions and systems must be instituted more broadly –where emphasis on feeding and maintaining healthy soils, cooperating with nature, and moving away from toxic chemical inputs are standard. The underlying standards of organic farming require that practices ‚Äúmaintain or improve soil organic matter content in a manner that does not contribute to contamination of crops, soil, or water by plant nutrients, pathogenic organisms, heavy metals, or residues of prohibited substances.‚ÄĚ This is the only viable and sustainable path forward that can take us off the toxic treadmill. Supporting and buying organic produce is the only way to ensure you and your family are protected from the dangers of Roundup in your food.
For more information on this issue, contact Beyond Pesticides at [email protected] or 202-543-5450. For the future of food, our health, and the environment, tell EPA to say “No” to more Roundup in our food.
All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.