Probable cancer-causing weedkiller discovered in 80% of urine samples – study

Processed meat probably carcinogenic to humans – CBS This Morning

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Glyphosate is a controversial ingredient found in weedkiller; a product designed to kill rogue plants and commonly used by both recreational and professional gardeners.

It is also a probable carcinogen.

Such is the widespread use of the chemical that, according to a new study by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it has made its way into the majority of Americans.

A recent study of urine samples conducted by the organisation found glyphosate was present in 80 percent of those tested.

While this statistic is shocking, it does not necessarily mean 80 percent of Americans have glyphosate in their urine, it is merely a projection based on the sample size tested.

Speaking about the research, Professor Lianne Sheppard said: “I expect that the realisation that most of us have glyphosate in our urine will be disturbing to many people.

“We know that a large fraction of the population has it in urine. Many people will be thinking about whether that includes them.”

Phil Landrigan, formerly of the CDC, echoes these concerns: “People of all ages should be concerned, but I’m particularly concerned for children.

“Children are more heavily exposed to pesticides than adults because pound-for-pound they drink more water, eat more food, and breath more air.

“Also, children have many years of future life when they can develop diseases with long incubation periods such as cancer.”

As a result, there is concern not for the short term health ramifications, but the long-term health crisis which could unfold if action isn’t taken.

What does this mean for the UK?

Glyphosate is not just used in the US, it’s also been used in the UK for years.

As recently as this year, councils have been trying to phase out indiscriminate use of the chemical.

Speaking about the pullback from glyphosate, Nick Mole of Pesticide Action Network (PAN) said various parishes and councils had been implementing small scale trials and some wholesale bans on the use of glyphosate.

In a statement, Mole added: “I think there has been a growth in public interest and of course we’ve had the ever-increasing news of the biodiversity crisis.

“I think councils have seen that this is something their voters want – and this is councils across the whole entire political spectrum, as well – it’s a very non-party political issue.”

One of the first councils to go glyphosate-free was Brighton in 2018 but has seen pushback from some Conservative members in recent years amid how much rewilding has occurred in the succeeding four years.

Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction towards removing a potentially dangerous carcinogen from the everyday.

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