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France: celebrities test positive for glyphosate
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After the urine of 30 people in France was tested for residues of glyphosate, the most used active agent in herbicides worldwide, every sample was shown to contain the molecule. An article posted on 7 April by Sustainable Pulse (an organisation owned and maintained by a group of concerned citizens and scientists) describes the survey, the results and the need for urgent action.
Testing was carried out in France by Générations Future (www.generations-futures.fr), the longstanding campaigner against pesticides and pollutants. The objective of the test was to establish to what extent the French are exposed to glyphosate. They analysed the urine of 30 people, some of them celebrities in France, between 8 and 60 years old. The sample consisted of both men and women. They covered a broad spectrum of lifestyles, with a mixture of people living in the countryside and in cities. They also had different diets – organic, non-organic, vegetarian and non-vegetarian.
Glyphosate found in all samples
The results show that all the samples contained glyphosate at a concentration above the lowest quantifiable level. The average concentration was 1.25ng/ml of urine. The lowest value found in the samples was 0.09 ng/ml; the highest was 2.89 ng/ml – 32.11 times higher than the lowest figure. 29 of the 30 samples contained concentrations above the maximum permissible in water (0.1 ng/ml).
A spokesperson for Générations Futures said that these results confirmed their worst fears after studying other surveys elsewhere in Europe and the world, namely that everybody in Europe is likely to be more or less contaminated with glyphosate. His conclusion was that it is high time to ban a substance that, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, is likely to be carcinogenic.
There is still time to take action to ensure that glyphosate is banned in the EU. Générations Futures maintains that people can still join the thousands of Europeans who have signed the European Citizens' Initiative and Générations Futures itself who are all calling for the banning of glyphosate.
The executive director of the Health and Environment Alliance confirmed the view that all Europeans are likely to be contaminated with a potentially cancer causing agent and he too called for a ban.
Originally, when the authorization of glyphosate expired, the European Commission proposed allowing its sale for a further 14 years. This widely criticises proposition did not receive the support of the Member States. After much debate and many countries rejecting the re-licensing of glyphosate, many people in the EU are waiting for the next move by the European Commission.