Glyphosate, a powerful herbicide used widely in U.S. agriculture with known links to cancer and autism, has finally become the subject of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing. Nearly a year after the World Health Organization (WHO) said the chemical is “probably” a carcinogen, the FDA will begin testing to find out how much glyphosate is lurking in our food supply. Despite the WHO ruling, the fight to protect American consumers from the toxic chemical has been an uphill one, primarily because of the stranglehold its main manufacturer, Monsanto, has on the U.S. government.

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Glyphosate is the key ingredient in Monsanto’s RoundUp weed killer, and it nets the company about $5 billion annually. The chemical has been under scrutiny around the globe since the WHO declared nearly a year ago that the chemical “probably” causes cancer. Other studies have linked its use to increases in autism and other disorders, and its use has been so pervasive that the toxic chemical has turned up in everything from cotton tampons to breast milk. Countries like Mexico, France, Russia, and the Netherlands are among those that have banned its over-the-counter sales, with other governments clamping down on its use.

Related: Tell world leaders to ban glyphosate, which has been linked to cancer, autism

This week, the FDA announced it will begin conducting tests similar to those carried out by private laboratories, and Civil Eats reports that the testing will begin with corn and soybeans, two of America’s biggest crops. The decision comes nearly a year after the WHO ruling and almost 18 months after the U.S. Government Accountability Office admonished the FDA for not taking swifter action after early indications of trouble with the herbicide.

Via Civil Eats

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