Almost all Germans contaminated with glyphosate, warns study

By Kizzi Nkwocha

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock
© iStock

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Researchers are calling for a glyphosate ban after finding that 99.6 % of Germans are contaminated with the controversial herbicide, with highest levels found in children, teenagers and meat-eaters.

Professor Monika Krüger of the Berlin-based Heinrich Böll Foundation and author of the study analysing the level of glyphosate contamination in urine samples, also called on the German government to introduce a moratorium on the use of glyphosate until further research has been carried out.

The researchers reported that some 75% of their target group displayed levels of glyphosate contamination that were five times higher than the legal limit of drinking water.

The study was financed by its participants, who paid €50 each for the analyses.

Higher levels of contamination

Said to be the largest of its kind ever carried out, the study analysed glyphosate residue in urine and concluded that all but 0.4% of the German population have been contaminated by herbicide.

The most significant values were found in children aged from zero to nine years old  and adolescents aged 10 to 19 years, particularly in those individuals raised on farms.

Meat-eaters also displayed higher levels of glyphosate contamination than vegetarians or vegans.

Krüger told FoodNavigator: The most important finding in our research was the fact that glyphosate can be found and scientifically proven in urine and, of course, the surprisingly high level of contamination, which is five times the value legally permitted for glyphosate in drinking water.”

Krüger added the German government should be concerned enough by this report to initiate “further and more profound and precise studies”​ on the issue of glyphosate contamination and its health consequences.

She said: “The first decision to take should be a moratorium until we have further and more secured results on this issue – specifically concerning contamination of ground and drinking water, and of course to have a closer look at GMO-related issues. They should definitely look at the many studies in Europe and Argentina, concerning increasing health problems like cancer rates. On the other hand, the government has to have a closer look at soy imports from the US and Argentina, which are not only GMO, but positively highly contaminated by glyphosate.”

The shocking figures from the Heinrich Böll Foundation comes as EU regulators continue to debate proposals to extend authorization of glyphosate for 15 years until 2031.

The Standing Committee on Plant Animal Food and Feed, composed of experts from all 28 member states, began a closed-door meeting on Monday in Brussels.

Professor Krüger said: The EU should not just permit this for such a long period without having more scientific certainty about environmental and health effects.

“The EU and the German government have to invest in research and relevant studies with much more representative numbers of participants than they did before. Glyphosate is a market of dozens of billions of euros.  Therefore the least we can expect from governments is that they are responsible enough to pour some millions in further research to gain certainty.  It’s their responsibility towards their citizens.”


Last year the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a branch of the World Health Organisation, classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen.

But in Europe, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment  (BfR),  acting on behalf of the European  Commission and the European Food  Safety Authority  (EFSA),  proposed  to  classify glyphosate  as  “non-carcinogenic.”  

Agrichemical and biotech giant, Monsanto, which produces its herbicide glyphosate under the trade name RoundUp, said the company “strongly disagrees”​ with IARC's classification of glyphosate.

A spokesperson said the IARC had “overlooked decades of thorough and science-based analysis by regulatory agencies around the world and selectively interpreted data to arrive at its classification.” 

The spokesperson added: “No regulatory agency in the world considers glyphosate to be a carcinogen.  Regulatory agencies have reviewed all the key studies examined by IARC - and many more - and arrived at the overwhelming consensus that glyphosate poses no unreasonable risks to humans or the environment when used according to label instructions.” 


Source: Heinrich Böll Foundation

Nachweis von Glyphosat im Urin freiwilliger, selbstzahlender Studienteilnehmer – Kampagne Urinale 2015

(Proof OIn The Urine Of Volunteering, Self-Paying Participants During The Urinale 2015 Campaign)

Author: Professor Monika Krüger


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Struggling with the bias...

Posted by Paul,

It is quite clear how all of the organisations pushing for a ban have other agendas e.g. Greens, Friends of Earth, Soil Assocation.
And how little is known at all by any of them either of how it is used or of the importance of it to the food chain everyone depends on.

Prof Kruger works in 'Effective Microorganisms' amongst other topics. The Heinrich Boll Faoundation is a Green political organisation.
This is only one source hugely political source. Maybe find another researcher or ask others to give a second view on her work?

For God's sake get some unbiased reporting here!

Anyway, there are some methods to reduce it *should it be a problem* , and one of the simplest is to reduce higher pesticide loaded food coming from North America and other non-EU sources rather than ban the only people likely to be using chemicals correctly.

Is the focus on Monsanto relevant or just useful to be inflamatory? - glyphosate is widely available and has been off-patent for years.

It is widely believed it was originally designed as cattle 'mouthwash' - but they noticed how the grass died where they dribbled. Maybe not so toxic? Or in fact maybe it's just in reality very safe. If it was actually a carcinogen would it not have had a vast effect by now consdering how much has been used ... even in water courses.

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subjects not randomly selected

Posted by Ray Wilson,

I'm a little troubled by the fact the subjects of this study had to pay 50 euro each to participate. I think this fact would tend to select for participants who have concerns that they may have been exposed in some way.

Randomly selected participants would actually determine the percentage of the population that has been exposed.

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CETA; Just in Time to protect carcinogenic ‘Round Up’ & other Toxic products & Foods; the Future of 'Legal' Poisoning of harmless Customers

Posted by David E.H. Smith,

CETA, TPP & the other Global Corporate treaties/'arrangements'; Suing the Global Corporate Economy via ‘your’ government.
Japan; ‘The Submission’ to The Supreme Court of Canada paves the way for Expanding & Improving the basis of the Yamada led ‘Sword & Shield’ Counter attack Suit against the Japanese gov’t, et al.
TPP & otherGlobal Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’ signatory gov’ts. in Conflict of Interest.

CETA, TPP, et al, Just in Time to protect carcinogenic ‘Round Up’ & other Toxic products & Foods; the Future of 'Legal' Poisoning of harmless Customers starts NOW. Taxes Cut as Gov’ts pass Lawsuit Costs to harmless citizens?

(CAN.) – The TPP & the other global corporate treaties/’arrangements’ provides that the signatory governments will no longer be able to sue corporations for not adhering to the laws of their host countries & thereby, replace the desire of American led corporations for tort reform with tort abolishment, but, the TPP will also place the signatory governments in positions of a conflict of interest in regard to their own harmless citizens who are being forced to find their own, non-governmental means of enforcing existing & future laws that have been passed by way of:

1) the secrecy of unethical lobbyists for the benefits of their wealthy corporation clients & their shareholders,
2) the ethical desire to compete with other countries by passing laws that protect & enhance the well-being of its citizens regarding their health care, education, worker safety, environment, transfer payments, etc.

However, it seems that it is only recently that the harmless citizens of Japan & other nations are learning that due to Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the government of Canada’s anxious desire to impress its TPP corporate associates, &/or, the citizens of Japan, et al, with:

1) its unencumbered access to the natural resources that are continuing to be discovered in Canada,
2) its ability to ‘manage’ Native Canadians in regard to accessing the aforementioned natural resources in Canada
3) et al,
Corporate Canada, &/or, the Canadian government has misinformed its corporate associates & deprived its corporate associates of due diligence information (eg. the Canadian government,et al, is continuing to deprive Native Canadians, et al, of the information & questions in The W.A.D. Accord), which will greatly affect the costs of developing the aforementioned natural resources, and thus, as a consequence of Corporate Canada’s, &/or, the Canadian government’s actions it has given the harmless citizens of Japan, et al, the basis for:

1) not only, suing Corporate Canada, &/or, the government of Canada, via the Canadian government,
but, for :
2) also expanding & improving upon Mr. Yamada’s existing suit against the Japanese government, &/or, Corporate Japan, et al, as well.

And, thus, Corporate Canada, via their lobbyists to the Canadian government, are most anxious to escape from their liabilities by a rapid ratification of the TPP, et al.

Therefore, the Japanese group, led by Mr. Masahiko Yamada, who are suing their government regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership on behalf of themselves & the citizens of Japan, might seriously consider suing Corporate Canada, in order to ensure that they, the harmless citizens, do not end up having to ‘contribute’ any of their tax dollars to pay for The Compensation in The W.A.D. Accord, et al, & thereby, prevent
Corporate Canada from escaping its liabilities by way of the ratification of the TPP, et al.

Furthermore, by suing Corporate Canada &/or, the government of Canada, by Mr. Yamada’s group, would enable the harmless citizens of Japan as a ‘sword’ & a ‘shield’ to prevent the government of Japan from using any of tax dollars of the harmless citizens of Japan to further punish the harmless citizens, ie. the ‘shield’ & to provide the monies necessary from the punitive damages, on an on-going basis, to continue to fight the future capricious forays & assaults against the harmless citizens’ democracy and counteract the damages to it, etc. caused by Corporate Japan, the government of Japan, et al, ie. the ‘sword’...
Full Article, see;
Please consider sharing the above info & questions with 10 friends who share with 10 friends & so on...

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