Health Canada has proposed increasing the maximum residue limit for glyphosate in certain foods (oat bran, rolled oats, wheat germ, some nuts, dry peas/lentils/beans and a few others). The proposed changes were published in May, and the public comment period ended yesterday (July 20th). Some press outlets started noticing the whole thing on… July 19th, and many haven’t mentioned it at all so far.
It’s unclear where the change comes from. Health Canada says the increase is meant to follow FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius guidelines and simplify trade. Some don’t agree that this follows those guidelines (apparently, some of the new limits would be higher than the current U.S. or E.U. limits) – or don’t agree with the guidelines altogether. As can be expected, the main people contesting the change are organic farmers and environmentalists.
Still, it feels weird to see an increase in the amount of Roundup allowed in food.
One thing that was mentioned in the press, which I didn’t know about, is dessicating, the practice of spraying glyphosate on some grains shortly before harvesting (1-2 weeks), because dead plants are easier to harvest. Apparently this is practiced in Canada. (This is not necessarily related to the policy change, just a somewhat-disturbing fact that’s mentioned by people who oppose glyphosate in general.)
I’ve used Roundup to get rid of weeds in my paved driveway, it works well. I haven’t tried it as a salad dressing yet.
So, should I worry about this ?