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New U.S. Bill Aims to Limit Children's Exposure to Glyphosate Herbicides

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced legislation Friday to dramatically limit American children’s exposure to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller, in food. The bill would not only ban pre-harvest spraying of glyphosate on oats but also require the federal government to test foods popular with children for the herbicide, which has been linked to cancer.

Key provisions in DeLauro’s bill include:

• Prohibiting the spraying of glyphosate as a pre-harvest drying agent on oats.

• Lowering by 300-fold the permissible level of glyphosate residues on oats, restoring the legally allowed level to just 0.1 parts per million, or ppm.

• Requiring the Department of Agriculture to regularly test fruits, vegetables and other foods routinely fed to infants and children for glyphosate residues.

The most used pesticide in the world, glyphosate is widely used as a weedkiller on genetically modified corn and soybeans in the U.S.. But it is also 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 that it can be harvested sooner. This makes harvesting easier but also increases the likelihood that the herbicide makes it into foods.

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