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Shedding Light in the Darkness

German Beer Industry Shocked over Glyphosate Levels

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The Munich Environmental Institute  has released shocking results of laboratory testing it has completed on 14 of the most sold beers in Germany. The probable carcinogen and world’s most used herbicide – glyphosate – was found in all of the 14 beers tested.

Not only did all of them contain glyphosate, but the levels found were far higher than is legally allowed in drinking water. The legal limit for traces of glyphosate in drinking water is 0.1 micrograms per liter. The lowest amount of glyphosate found in one of the 14 beers was 0.46 micrograms in the Bavarian Augustiner beers. However, that was extremely low compared to the 29.74 micrograms per liter in the Hasseröder brewery in Saxony-Anhalt. The highest reading was 300 times the legal limit of glyphosate in drinking water in Germany.

The Bremen office of the brewery giant Anheuser-Busch described the institute’s findings as “not plausible.” “An adult would have to drink around 1,000 liters (264 U.S. gallons) of beer a day to ingest enough quantities to be harmful for health,” said the Brauer-Bund beer association, while admitting that low residues of glyphosate could not be prevented, because “the herbicide is now found virtually everywhere after decades of use in agriculture”..

That amount is based on a single dose. The harmful effects of long-term exposure through the ingestion of small amounts over time are only beginning to be realized. Geneticist Sophia Guttenberger of the Munich institute said glyphosate should simply be neither “in beer nor in our bodies.”

Since the 1990s Germany has limited the amount of glyphosate in the country. Nowhere near the quantity of glyphosate that is sprayed in the US is sprayed in Germany.

Martin Häusling, a member of Germany’s Green Party in the European Parliament, told the AFP news agency that the European Commission wanted in early March to extend approval for the use of glyphosate for a further 15 years. The current license for Europe runs out in the coming European summer.

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