People in 18 countries across Europe have been found to have traces of the weed killer glyphosate in their urine, show the results of tests commissioned by Friends of the Earth Europe.

Find Full Paper

Authors: Dr. Hans-Wolfgang Hoppe


In this study, 182 urine samples received from 18 European countries were analyzed for Glyphosate and AMPA residues using a new GC-MSMS method (see table 2). With a LOQ of 0,15 µg/l, on average 44 % and 36 % of the urine samples analyzed were found to contain quantifiable levels of Glyphosate and AMPA, respectively. However the frequency of detection calculated for each individual EU-state ranged from 10% to 90% (see Table 4). The highest Glyphosate concentration was 1,8 µg/L (Latvia 6), the highest AMPA concentration was 2,6 µg/L (Croatia 3). All in all 12 (6,6%) participants of the study significantly exceeded the tentative reference value of 0,8 µg/L for Glyphosate (see section 4).

In general, Glyphosate and AMPA urinary level do not correlate very well. This is due to the finding that the ratio AMPA/Glyphosate (AGR) in human urine is very variable probably reflecting the variable AGRs in diet. A high AGR suggests an additional exposure against Aminopolyphosphonate based tensides like ATMT or EDTMP, which easily degrade to AMPA. The results give a first idea to which extent adults in 18 European countries are exposed to Glyphosate. The regional and individual variations are large. Diet seems to be the main sources of exposure. However, more scientific work is needed to distinguish between different exposure situations.