Glyphosate is today the most widely applied herbicide in the world, used in both domestic and commercial settings as a nondiscriminatory weed and grass killer. First marketed in the 1970’s by Monsanto’s flagship product, Roundup®, glyphosate works by inhibiting a critical enzyme required by most plants to grow and has been used extensively in the agricultural industry to cultivate a variety of genetically modified (GM) crops called “Roundup Ready” that are resistant to its debilitating effects.
The U.S. FDA has approved the commercial cultivation of 6 GM herbicide resistant crops: soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, alfalfa, and sugar beets (other GM crops have been approved for insecticide, viral, and other resistances). Based on a 2017 study conducted by the USDA, GM crops account for 94% of soybeans, 92% of corn, and 92% of cotton (used in foods as cottonseed oil) currently produced in the U.S. However, the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2015 classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” and as of July 7, 2017, has been added to California’s Prop 65 list of chemicals known by the state to cause cancer.
Anresco Laboratories has performed analytical testing for glyphosate in fruits and vegetables for over 30 years, and today is capable of quantifying glyphosate and its metabolite, AMPA, in a variety of food matrices with an estimated LOD ranging from 5-25ppb.