Alert! 93% of Americans Tested Positive For Glyphosate; Is it Dangerous?

Jun 04, 2016 03:14 PM EDT

A staggering 93 percent of Americans have been exposed to glyphosate, a recent study revealed.

The results from the glyphosate test project launched last year by Detox Project and Organic Consumers came out in the last week of May.

Experts at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) were able to identify the traces through urine samples of the people subjected to the test.

The traces of the poisonous herbicide, dubbed by World Health Organization a "probable human carcinogen," have alarmed many Americans. But what is alarming is the revelation that children were found to have the highest levels, with an average of 3.586 PPB.

Glyphosate-containing herbicides are sold under trademarks such as Monsanto's Roundup. Lawsuits against companies using the herbicide have begun.

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In the first test, only 131 people were subjected. But further tests involving more people is currently ongoing, with results expected to come out late this year.

According to National Pesticide Information Center, which defines glyphosate as an herbicide applied to the leaves of plants to kill both broadleaf plants and grasses, pure glyphosate is low in toxicity. However, it can be fatal if mixed with other ingredients, like in the case of commercial herbicide.

Symptoms of glyphosate exposure can begin with skin or eye irritation, to vomiting and diarrhea. It may also lead to death.

"With increasing evidence from laboratory studies showing that glyphosate-based herbicides can result in a wide range of chronic illnesses through multiple mechanisms, it has become imperative to ascertain the levels of glyphosate in food and in as large a section of the human population as possible," Dr. Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist in London told Ecowatch.

"Thus the information gathered by the glyphosate public testing service being offered by the Detox Project is most timely and will provide invaluable information for the consumer and scientists like myself evaluating the toxicity of real world levels of exposure to this most widely used pesticide."

Aside from health problems, glyphosate may also harm biodiversity and cause environmental problems.

When glyphosate-containing herbicide is sprayed, some microorganisms may be exposed to it, making them an equally direct target.

When European Union approved the use of the herbicide, the study was not subjected in a large ecosystem but was only limited to a laboratory, where only a few species was involved. This approach has been highly criticized.

In addition, glyphosate may be washed into the rivers, streams or coastal waters, making fish and other marine animals at risk and altering the animals' habitat. Amphibians are particularly vulnerable to pesticide exposure because they can absorb water-borne chemicals through their skin, as well as by eating contaminated food resources.

Several studies have claimed that glyphosate also destroys the quality of soil. A paper published by Friends of the Earth Europe in 2013 noted that while it takes a thousand years to propagate few inches of thick layer of fertile soil, a single spray of the herbicide can disturb and change the ecosystem within the soil.The

UCSF's full presentation of these initial results can be found here.

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