Glyphosate: taking the p*ss study

Wild Justice is interested in the use of the powerful pesticide glyphosate in the environment – as are many others.  With your help – click here for details – we have contacted local authorities across the UK to ask about their compliance with the requirements of pesticide legislation and simply asking questions is nudging local authorities to make further reductions in use. Glyphosate, is also used in gardens and on farmland. 

There are concerns, hotly disputed, that glyphosate may be a carcinogen. UK authorities do test some foods for glyphosate levels. 

The renowned entomologist, Prof Dave Goulson, is campaigning for a ban on the use of glyphosate in gardens – see his petition here.  

Based on fairly small sample sizes there is an indication, no more than that, that levels of glyphosate in UK residents are higher than the average in Europe. You probably have glyphosate in your body – over 70% of Europeans do, and the UK figures are slightly higher than average. Would you like to find out?  If so, and if you would consider participating in a future Wild Justice investigation of glyphosate levels in UK citizens, then read on.  

How to discover your own glyphosate levels: this website will send you a glyphosate testing kit that you can use in your own home and send off a urine sample to a laboratory in Germany which will send you your results.  The cost of the testing and postage is about £40 (depending on the £/euro exchange rate) so it is a significant investment. And all you’ll get for it is a figure for the glyphosate level in your urine that you can compare with averages for other European countries.   However, if you share your results with us at Wild Justice, we will ask you whether you would like to take part in a study of glyphosate levels in UK citizens that will track glyphosate levels in individuals to discover more about their trends through the year and any links with lifestyle etc.  We will pay for all the test kits of those invited to participate in the study.  What we can study will depend on the number of you who are interested in participating.  

Mark Avery sent off for a urine testing kit last autumn, followed its instructions and got his results by email a couple of weeks later. Mark’s glyphosate levels were 2.5nm/ml – a bit higher than both the European and UK averages.  Mark said ‘The process was pretty straightforward and I was interested to find that my levels were higher than average.  I wonder why. We don’t use pesticides in the garden but I live in an arable farming area where glyphosate is used, and my local authority uses glyphosate too. Perhaps I am picking up glyphosate from the food I eat.  I’m interested to know more but that would need a bigger sample of people. Will you join me in taking the p*ss?’.  

So, the offer on the table to you is to find out your own glyphosate levels through buying a test kit and sending off your urine to be tested. When you get your results then if you’d like to share them with us please forward them to Wild Justice at . Depending on the response, we may invite you to become part of a study to investigate glyphosate levels and their variability and lifestyle correlates.  Wild Justice will then reimburse the costs of testing kits.  

Do consider this: you will probably find that you have glyphosate in your urine – 70% of people across Europe who have done similar tests do find that. Levels vary and there are no levels yet set by governments that indicate dangerous levels.  There is some evidence that glyphosate is a carcinogen but opinions differ, and the levels at which it has any human health impact, if any at all, are not well known. So it is just possible that you will find that you have ‘high’ levels of glyphosate in your urine and you might find that worrying. It is very likely that you will find that you have some glyphosate in your urine which will mean that you are like most other people living in Europe. If you would rather not know how much glyphosate you have in your urine then please don’t send off for a test kit.  If you are interested to learn what your glyphosate levels are and feel pretty confident that you can cope with any results that come through, then that is your choice.  Give it some thought before doing anything please.

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