Glyphosate briefings: reason for concern

13 June 2013

Glyphosate is the world's best-selling weed killer and one of the most widely used herbicides in Europe. It is crucial for growing genetically modified (GM) crops, many of which are modified to withstand glyphosate.

Concerns surround the safety of glyphosate particularly about its effect on human health, particularly on the hormone system, and its impact on the wider environment. 

Now tests have shown that glyphosate is present in the human body. Friends of the Earth Europe commissioned an independent laboratory in Germany to test urine samples from people in 18 countries for glyphosate. The results showed that traces of the chemical were found in samples from all countries, with 44 per cent of samples found to contain glyphosate on average. This media briefing explains the reasons for concern.

Also available are six additional briefings that explore the issue in greater depth, and a short document with 12 key facts about glyphosate.

    • Agriculture

      Food and farming in Europe and its global impacts

    • Agrofuels

      Plant-based fuels from agriculture. Also known as biofuels

    • EU-US trade deal

      What’s at stake in negotiations for a transatlantic trade agreement

    • Food speculation

      Betting on foodstuffs, and how to regulate it

    • GMOs

      Genetically modified crops and organisms

    • Land

      Measuring Europe’s land footprint and tackling the drivers of land grabbing

    • Nature

      Standing up for our right to nature

    • Nature

      Standing up for our right to nature

    • Resource use

      Europe’s consumption of land, materials, water and carbon

    • Shale gas

      Unconventional oil and gas, and the ‘fracking’ process

    • Tar sands

      Unconventional oil, also known as oil sands

    • Water use

      Measuring Europe’s water footprint