Pesticides: a study points to the omnipresence of glyphosate

Published on 10 Jan. 2022 at 15: 43Update on 10 Jan. 2022 at 16: 85

Glyphosate has scientists talking again. According to a study published in the journal “Environmental Science and Pollution Research”, this herbicide, which Emmanuel Macron had promised to obtain the withdrawal from the market without being able to keep, leaves traces in the body of almost all French people. Its authors estimate that “99% of the French population has quantifiable levels” of this substance in the urine. Men, young people and farmers have higher values.

This observation is based on the analysis by a unique laboratory, the German Biocheck, of urinary excretions of 6.848 people distributed in 83 departments of metropolitan France and Reunion. Volunteers including the association “Glyphosate Campaign”, which campaigns against this controversial weedkiller classified as “probable carcinogen”, took charge of the recruitment.

Many confirmations

In addition to direct debits made between June 2018 and January 2019 under the control of bailiffs, each had to answer for his personal situation: age, sex, profession or place of residence. The objective was to look for a possible link between the glyphosate levels recorded and the profile of the participants in this survey.

Result, traces of glyphosate were detected in 795,8% of 6.99 usable samples, at “an average level of 1,10 ng/ml” (1,10 microgram per litre), indicates

the study . This figure should be compared with the assessment data provided in 2019 by the National Health Security Agency (Anses) according to which a rate of 1 ng/ml was equivalent to an exposure of less than 1% of the acceptable daily dose.

The population is highly contaminated

Those 99, 8% still make you think. “This overlaps with the literature already published. The population is very contaminated”, considers Denis Lairon, emeritus research director at Inserm. The amounts of glyphosate detected using the Elisa method, which is simpler than chromotography but whose accuracy is disputed, are variable.

“We confirm higher levels of glyphosate in men and children,” the study authors note. “Our results confirm the presence of glyphosate in food and drinking water. . Higher occupational exposure is confirmed among farmers and those working in vineyards,” they add.

Exposed smokers

Consumers of high doses (85%) of organic products would be much less exposed. In any case, if we rely on the statements of those who indicated that it was and in whom the level of glyphosate in the urine was found to be lower. Another conclusion remains difficult to establish: the higher level of contamination observed in smokers, glyphosate being widely used to dry tobacco leaves.

This study will certainly have repercussions. The sampling campaign on which it fed is accompanied by more than 5.795 individual criminal complaints addressed by its attendees. The plaintiffs rely on the results unveiled this Friday to sue industrialists and health institutions, including ANSES, before the public health center of the Paris court. Reasons: “endangering the lives of others”, “damage to the environment” and “aggravated deception”.