China Set to Shock Markets with Low Glyphosate Residue Limits in Food Imports
China is set to introduce maximum residue limits (MRLs) of 200 parts per billion (ppb) or lower for glyphosate in all imported final food products and raw materials including grains, soybeans and other legumes before the end of 2019, according to Sustainable Pulse sources.
The Chinese introduction of low MRLs, which are officially based on health concerns following the classification of glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen in 2015 by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, has been expected by both U.S. and Australian farming organizations for some time.
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China’s action would likely decrease the global use of glyphosate as a desiccant. The practice, known as desiccating, pre-harvest spraying or crop topping, is favored by many ‘conventional’ farmers as a way to hasten the even ripening of grains, such as wheat, oats and barley, as well as legumes and other crops such as sunflowers and potatoes, even though it is not a recommended use of the increasingly controversial weedkiller. Desiccation leads to higher levels of the herbicide in harvested crops and final food products.