Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D., Conn.) has introduced the Keep Food Safe from Glyphosate Act. The bill would ban spraying glyphosate on oats and also would require the federal government to test foods popular with children for the herbicide.
The Keep Food Safe from Glyphosate Act would require the U.S. Department of Agriculture, through its Pesticide Data Program, to annually test fruits, vegetables and other commonly consumed foods for glyphosate residues. The bill would also ban the practice of spraying glyphosate as a pre-harvest drying agent and would require the Environmental Protection Agency to restore the permissible level of glyphosate residues on oats to the original level of 0.1 parts per million.
Earlier this year, DeLauro led a letter from 31 House Democrats calling for Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue to include testing for glyphosate in the annual Pesticide Data Program.
“American families deserve to know that the food they are eating and feeding to their children is safe,” DeLauro said.
The legislation is endorsed by Environmental Working Group (EWG). Last fall, EWG scientists released a report claiming that glyphosate residues were found in samples of popular oat-based cereals and other oat-based foods marketed to children.
Glyphosate is increasingly sprayed on oats and other grains just before harvest as a drying agent, or desiccant. Glyphosate kills the crop, drying it out uniformly so it can be harvested sooner. This makes harvesting easier, but the practice has been criticized by EWG.
EWG legislative director Colin O’Neil explained that in the past two decades, EPA has increased the level of glyphosate residue allowed on oats from 0.1 ppm to 30 ppm, “largely to accommodate Canadian oat farmers who use it.”