Consumer advocacy group U.S. Right to Know criticized the U.S. Department of Agriculture for issuing an annual pesticide residue report that avoided any evaluation of residues from glyphosate on food items. The criticism was widely released to consumer media with the expectation of magazines and newspapers printing its rant against glyphosate without double checking the truth and reasoning behind glyphosate not being a pesticide of concern related to food residues.  

The U.S. Right to Know group reported that the USDA’s annual pesticide data program summary includes information that the USDA states is to “assure consumers that the food they feed their families is safe.” The program annually tests a wide variety of domestic and imported foods to gather data to determine if pesticide exposure through food is within government-set safety standards. The USDA program typically tests for several hundred different pesticides each year, and the government says it specifically looks at foods most likely to be consumed by children and infants.

“But despite consumer demands for the inclusion of glyphosate, the USDA data continues to exclude testing for that pesticide. Only once in the history of the 24-year program has the agency conducted tests for glyphosate residues. Those tests, in 2011, were limited to 300 soybean samples and found that 271 of the samples had glyphosate residues,” the U.S. Right to Know group claims in its propaganda against the USDA and glyphosate. The level of residue was below any threshold for concern, it should be noted.

Glyhosate-based herbicides are the most widely used herbicides in the world. Some consumers, stoked by such groups as U.S. Right to Know, have recently expressed fear about glyphosate residues on food. A discredited working work study of the World Health Organization tried to claim there was evidence to classify glyphosate as a probable carcinogenic to humans.

As part of his continual attack against Monsanto and the USDA, U.S. Right to Know Co-Director Gary Ruskin said, “It is a scandal that USDA tests for hundreds of pesticide residues but not glyphosate, which is among the most widely used chemicals on our food crops. Consumers want to know how much glyphosate is in our food. Why won’t the USDA tell us? This looks like yet another giant favor from our federal government to Monsanto (makers of glyphosate-based Roundup herbicides). It’s past time for Congress to investigate why the Obama administration is bestowing these sweetheart favors to Monsanto and the agrichemical industry.”