Glyphosate in beer: BfR sees no cancer risk for consumers

Glyphosate in beer: BfR sees no cancer risk for consumers

Many German beers are contaminated with the pesticide glyphosate. This is the result of a recently published test by the Munich Environmental Institute. As reported by the institute, a laboratory had examined the 14 most drunk beers from Germany's most popular beer brands for traces of the weed killer and had found what they were looking for. The plant poison is suspected to be carcinogenic and has therefore lost nothing in beer, the message goes on. The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), however, sees no danger to the health of consumers.

WHO classifies glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic"
Hops, malt, yeast and water: According to the so-called "purity law", a beer should consist of these ingredients. But the popular cold drink is obviously not quite as pure as the law provides. Instead, according to a study by the Munich Environmental Institute, many varieties are contaminated with the weed killer glyphosate. The institute had tested 14 of Germany's most popular beer brands and found traces of the pesticide in all samples, according to a recent report. The drug was classified as "probably carcinogenic" by the World Health Organization (WHO) last year, according to new findings from the international cancer research agency (IARC). Glyphosate is by far the most frequently used pesticide ingredient in Germany, around 5,400 tons are used nationwide every year. In the private sector it is used under the product name "Roundup" and is used by many homeowners and allotment gardeners as a weed remedy.

Germans drink an average of 107 liters of beer a year
As reported by the Munich Environmental Institute, the measured values ​​were between 0.46 micrograms per liter (µg / l) and 29.74 µg / l, which in extreme cases was almost 300 times the legal limit for drinking water (0.1 µg / l ) exceeded. There is no limit for beer, but “a substance that is likely to be carcinogenic has neither lost anything in beer or in our body,” explained Sophia Guttenberger from the environmental institute. According to Guttenberger, every German would consume an average of 107 liters of beer per year in this country and thus also unconsciously absorb glyphosate - a fact that, according to Guttenberger, is incompatible with the image of purity and naturalness that the German breweries represent. “All the beers tested contained the pesticide glyphosate. As a result, the German Purity Law threatens to become a farce in its 500th anniversary year, ”continued the biologist.

Higher values ​​proven by cross test
According to the expert Marike Kolossa, exposure to humans is “not desirable” until it has been finally clarified whether glyphosate can cause cancer in humans. The head of the department for health-related environmental monitoring at the Federal Environment Agency told the news agency "dpa". The environmental institute initially used the so-called “Elisa method” for the test, a very sensitive process, which is however controversial. The researchers tested the three beers in which the highest residues (from 20 micrograms per liter) were found using the much less sensitive LC-MS / MS method, which ultimately confirmed the values. If higher values ​​were measured with the Elisa method and then confirmed with the LC-MS / MS method, these could be considered as proven, Kolossa continues.

Health risk according to the BfR only from 1000 liters of beer a day
The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), on the other hand, sees no danger for consumers with a glyphosate content of 30 micrograms per liter of beer. According to a preliminary assessment, "Glyphosate residues in beer are plausible and fundamentally expected from a scientific point of view", since glyphosate is an approved active ingredient in crop protection products and can therefore occur in cereals. According to the information, even the highest values ​​of around 30 micrograms per liter are so low that “the arithmetically resulting intake amount for an adult would be more than 1000 times lower than the lifelong tolerable (ADI) or one-time tolerable (ARfD ) daily intake. ”In order to ingest a harmful amount of the pesticide, an adult would have to drink around 1000 liters of beer per day, according to the BfR. (No)

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