Admittedly, a sensational question to which there is, of course, no general answer. But a study commissioned by GLOBAL 2000 and its European umbrella organization now provides details. Conclusion: In three out of ten Austrian residues, the herbicide glyphosate has been detected in the urine. And that is by no means the only questionable substance in our food. Despite extensive food controls, our food contains substances that can make you sick. And most of the time, it’s completely legal. Poison in our food – article overview:
- Study: glyphosate in urine
- How dangerous is glyphosate
- “Organic” as a sensible alternative?
- Poison in food
Weed killer glyphosate in urine
Whether in fruit, vegetables, or cereals, residues from pesticides can be found in numerous foods. Specifically, the herbicide glyphosate, which has now been detected in human urine, was ingested by the test subjects through bread, pastries, and cereals. The spray is mainly used in grain cultivation.
In the first study of this type, 182 people from 18 countries were tested, all of the city dwellers, who stated that they had not come into direct contact with the agent. Necessary additional information, like glyphosate, is also contained in weed killers for private gardens and can be obtained by consumers from hardware stores.
Between eight and twelve people were examined per country, with the proportion of people who tested positive for glyphosate or AMPA within the 18 European countries showing significant differences. Malta had the highest values in the tests: an unbelievable 90% of the test persons had glyphosate in their body. It was 80 percent in Germany, followed by Poland and Ukraine, with 70 percent and Belgium with 64 percent. Austria and Georgia are in the better third with 30 percent, Switzerland with 17 percent, and Macedonia with 10 percent had the best values.
How dangerous is glyphosate to health?
Glyphosate is a herbicide (“weed control agent”), it is the most frequently used active ingredient worldwide and has been on the market since 1974 as the main ingredient in “Roundup®” (Monsanto company). Interesting detail: in parallel with Roundup, Monsanto sells genetically modified seeds that are resistant to the herbicidal effects of glyphosate.
How glyphosate (long-term) affects humans has not yet been adequately clarified. The Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety GmbH, AGES for short, certifies the product on the basis of the existing valid tests carried out according to international standards with regard to acute toxicity:
– very low oral toxicity
– very low dermal toxicity
– very low inhalation toxicity
– no skin irritation
– no alleging / sensitizing properties
However, the eye-irritating properties are explicitly emphasized.
With regard to chronic toxicity, on the other hand, there is hardly any information on the effects on humans. It is even pointed out that the effects of the proven harmful effect on the fetuses of rats (developmental delays and skeletal variations) caused by the plant protection product Roundup are so far unknown in humans due to a lack of suitable test methods for human toxicological tests.
GLOBAL 2000, however, points out the hormonal effect of the product: “Glyphosate is a pesticide that shows hormonal effects in animal experiments and has been associated with reproductive disorders and embryonic development in numerous scientific studies,” comments Helmut Burtscher, an environmental chemist from GLOBAL 2000. Hormonally effective pesticides pose a particular risk to human health because hormonal effects occur even with the smallest doses.
The environmental doctor Dr. Hanns Moshammer, on the other hand, warns against scare tactics but also sees no reason to issue a clean bill of health. Although he rules out an immediate risk, he points out that there are important indications that the agent has harmful effects on embryonic development and is therefore not safe for pregnant women.
“Organic” as a sensible alternative?
Global 2000 at least suggests that organic products could solve the problem. The fact is that no artificial pesticides may be used in the production of organic products. However, certain residues cannot be completely excluded in/on organic products.
“It can be speculated whether the organic share in Austria’s agriculture, which is the highest in a European comparison, contributed to the result. So far, however, there are no reliable findings as to which entry path this pesticide takes into our body. The fact that Austria is in the better third with 30 percent contaminated people is by no means a cause for joy, as pesticides basically have no place in our bodies ”, analyzes Heidemarie Porstner, agriculture spokeswoman for GLOBAL 2000.
Therefore, the environmental organization is calling for an Austria-wide approval stop for glyphosate for agriculture, public spaces, and home gardens. A requirement that environmental medicine specialist Dr. Moshammer does not have a priority is that he sees a much greater potential danger in pesticides used to destroy insects. And that’s because “… because most of the insecticides used are neurotoxins that are also dangerous for humans.”
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