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Glyphosate found in our bodies across Europe

Traces of the most commonly used herbicide glyphosate have been found in humans across Europe. The findings of this first ever testing raise concerns about increasing levels of exposure to this weed killer.

The human biomonitoring (HMB) research, carried out by Friends of the Earth Europe showed that people tested in 18 countries across Europe all had traces of glyphosate in their bodies. The individuals tested all lived in cities and had not handled or used glyphosate products in the run-up to the tests carried out between March and May this year. The pesticide was found through analysing urine samples.

Products which contain glyphosate are commonly used by farmers, public authorities and gardeners across Europe. Despite widespread use, there is little monitoring of glyphosate in food, water and the environment. The results of this first ever testing suggest that we are exposed this pesticide in our everyday lives, whilst neither knowing the sources nor the long term impacts on health and the environment. The use of glyphosate is expected to increase further if more genetically modified crops are grown in Europe.

Friends of the Earth Europe warned of lack of action of public authorities in Europe and urged governments to step-up monitoring and reducing glyphosate use.

HEAL has advocated for a European wide humanbiomonitoring programme to increase policy coherence and evaluation as a part of the first EU strategy on health and environment known as SCALE in 2003.

HEAL has also participated in several EU pilot HBM research programmes, and carried out community biiomonitoring of methyl mercury in its Stop Mercury Stay Health campaign in 2006.

Originally posted on 23 July 2013

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