May 18, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D-Los Angeles County) sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration asking for more information on the FDA's efforts to test glyphosate levels in food. The letter follows a report published in The Guardian indicating that glyphosate, the chemical commonly used in herbicides, could be found in common foods.

In the letter, Mr. Lieu writes:

  • As you know, since 2016 the FDA has been testing particular food items, including corn, milk, eggs, and soybeans, for glyphosate residues. The EPA is completing a registration review of glyphosate to determine whether or not the pesticide presents human health and ecological risks. This interim review is not expected to be released until next year. The EPA Inspector General (IG) is also conducting an inquiry into the agency’s review of glyphosate after reports of misconduct by EPA officials.
  • I am concerned by recent public reporting revealing that scientists at the FDA have communicated that they found glyphosate traces in commonplace food items. Specifically, on April 30, 2018, an article published in The Guardian referenced documents from an FDA scientist who had found glyphosate on his “wheat crackers, granola cereal and corn meal.” Additionally, the article stated that a different agency scientist had found glyphosate residues on corn that exceeded the EPA’s accepted limits. However, the report indicates that neither of these samples will be included in your agency’s official review of glyphosate in food items.
  • The differences between levels of glyphosates referenced in The Guardian article and the FDA’s preliminary test results coupled with the EPA IG’s inquiry into its own agency’s review of glyphosate indicate to me that the public deserves additional information on the safety of glyphosate in food. As such, I respectfully request answers to the following questions.
    • How did the FDA determine which food items to include in its glyphosate testing?
    • How would any potential changes to the EPA’s regulations for glyphosate affect the FDA’s testing?
    • Do you collaborate with the National Institutes of Health on matters related to glyphosate?
    • Does the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s finding that glyphosate may be carcinogenic affect your testing of the pesticide?
    • Will you release, or provide to Congress, the preliminary results of the FDA’s glyphosate testing?
    • When will the final results for the FDA’s glyphosate testing be completed and made public?
    • Do you disagree with any element of The Guardian article referenced in this letter?  If so, please explain.