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Weed killer found in tests of European urine

A THIRD of respondents in France tested positive for the presence of weed killer in their urine, a study by Friends of the Earth Europe found.

Across 18 European countries a total of 182 samples were tested for glyphosate with on average 44% of samples found to contain the weed killer.

In France 30% of samples were found to contain glyphosate, with the highest presence of the chemical in samples from Malta (90%) then Germany, the UK and Poland (all 70%).

Friends of the Earth Europe's spokesperson Adrian Bebb said: "Most people will be worried to discover they may have weed killer in their bodies. We tested people living in cities in 18 countries and found traces in every country.

"These results suggest we are being exposed to glyphosate in our everyday lives, yet we don't know where it is coming from, how widespread it is in the environment, or what it is doing to our health.

"Our testing highlights a serious lack of action by public authorities across Europe and indicates that this weed killer is being widely overused.

"Governments need to step-up their monitoring and bring in urgent measures to reduce its use. This includes rejecting any genetically modified crops that would increase the use of glyphosate."

Glyphosate is used on many genetically modified crops and 14 new GM crops designed to be cultivated with glyphosate are currently waiting for approval to be grown in Europe.

The biggest producer of glyphosate is Monsanto which sells it under the brand name Roundup.

Related: Fly killer and garden insecticides having an effect on health

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