Residents of 18 European states have been tested positively to traces of glyphosate, a globally used weed killer, the study says. It remains unclear how the chemical used on Monsanto GMO corps got in people’s bodies.
It turns out that 44 per cent of volunteers had it in their urine, but it is yet unclear how the herbicide got into their systems.
“These results suggest we are being exposed to glyphosate in our everyday lives,” Adrian Bebb, spokesperson of environmental group Friends of the Earth (FoE) said in a statement.
The study, carried out between March and May 2013, showed that proportions of positive samples varies between countries, with Malta (90 per cent) , Germany (70 per cent), UK (70 per cent) and Poland being “the most positive samples” and Macedonia and Switzerland – “the lowest”.
“Our testing highlights a serious lack of action by public authorities across Europe and indicates that this weed killer is being widely overused,” the group said.
Glyphosate is essentially used on plants including grasses, sedges, broad-leaved weeds and woody plants as well as great variety of genetically modified crops. Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, which is sprayed in large amounts on genetically engineered, so-called “Roundup Ready,” crops.
“It is crucial for growing genetically modified (GM) crops, many of which are modified to withstand glyphosate,” FoE said.
All volunteers, who provided their urine samples, are people from European cities; they had no contact with glyphosate or used products containing it in the run-up to the tests.