Roundup Residue Found in Popular German Beers

Amid continuing concerns about the potential risk of cancer from the Roundup weedkiller active ingredient, glyphosate, a recent study found traces of the chemical in fourteen of Germany’s most popular brands of beers, highlighting the widespread use of the herbicide.

The Munich Environmental Institute, a German environmental group, issued a press release (in German) announcing the test results on February 25, which showed that all of the country’s most popular brands of beer contained levels higher than 0.1 microgram of glyphosate, the amount legally allowed in drinking water in that country.

The findings are particularly noteworthy in Germany, due to its 500-year-old “Reinheitsgebot” beer purity law, which requires that beers only be produced using hops, malt, water and yeast.

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The potential health risks of Roundup and glyphosate have been the subject of increasing concerns worldwide, since the World Health Organization determined that glyphosate probably causes cancer in humans in March 2015.

The use of glyphosate has skyrocketed in recent years, amid Monsanto’s marketing strategy of creating “Roundup Ready” genetically modified seeds for crops, which are designed to withstand heavy use of the herbicide, but have resulted in more and more of the herbicide being sprayed on farm lands.

To date, about 18.9 billion pounds of glyphosate have been sprayed on the world’s crops, according to estimates of a recent study. Researchers found that glyphosate use has increased almost 15-fold since the introduction of “Roundup Ready” crops in 1996.

Over the past year, Monsanto has been attempting to defend the safety of Roundup, dismissing concerns about their blockbuster product and suggesting that the WRO’s conclusions were agenda driven and based on “junk science”.

The Munich Environmental Institute’s recent report has come under fire by the German Brauer-Bund beer association, which said the sampling method the group used was unreliable. In addition, the German Federal Institute for Risk said that the amounts detected did not constitute a risk to human health.

Officials with the environmental group criticized those viewpoints, noting that if the IARC is correct, even minute amounts of glyphosate could cause harm and that there could be no safe amount of daily glyphosate intake.

The report came just days after the FDA in the U.S. announced that it would begin monitoring glyphosate residue in certain foods, which it has never done before.

Monsanto now faces a growing number of Roundup cancer lawsuits in the United States, typically involving individuals diagnosed with a form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma following heavy exposure to the herbicide as a farm or agricultural worker. In addition, a growing number of states, cities, and countries worldwide have enacted full or partial glyphosate bans to protect citizens and limit the risks of Roundup exposure.


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