Glyphosate in Beer – Federal Institute downplayed dangers
Released by Sophia Guttenberger, Umweltinstitut München (“Munich Environmental Institute”)
(release roughly translated to English… original German language version — Deutsch — here)
Munich, February 25, 2016, the Munich Environmental Institute published test results that demonstrate the weedkiller glyphosate in the 14 best-selling beers, of the most popular German beer brands. This publication has led to various reactions, including the part of the German Brewers’ Federation and the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.
A statement by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) for Glyphosate in beer explained Karl Baer, Secretary for Agricultural Policy at the Environment Institute:
It is alarming that it is precisely a charge of Consumer Protection Federal Agency downplays the dangers of glyphosate. If a substance is highly probable carcinogen, even small amounts have the potential to cause harm. A safe daily intake dose may then not be named. The assertion of the BfR, one must have 1000 liters of beer drinking to take a dangerous amount of glyphosate, is skillful public relations in terms of the chemical industry.
The position of the BfR is based on the highly controversial assessment of the Federal Institute, glyphosate would not carcinogenic. BfR thus contradicts the classification of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, which classifies the substance as “probably carcinogenic to humans”. BfR has been heavily criticized for this positioning of the independent science. So it says in a statement renowned scientists: We have investigated these two different judgments about the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate in humans and come to the conclusion that the judgment of the working group of IARC is credible by far. […] In contrast, the judgment of the BfR is not credible, because it is not based on evidence and did not come in an open and transparent approach to conditions .
The limit of quantification for the ELISA method used in the investigation of the Environment Institute is, according to the laboratory if 0,075 micrograms per liter (ug / l). This corresponds to 0.075 nanograms per milliliter (ng / ml) or 75 nanograms per liter (ng / L). The three beers, where the highest values were found, has let the institute in another laboratory that uses the LC-MS / MS method, to examine. This method, which is also used by the BfR has a significantly higher quantification limit of 10 ng / ml and 10,000 ng / l. In this cross-test the previous test results have confirmed. Marike Kolossa, Head of the Department of health-related environmental monitoring in the Federal Environment Agency commented the news agency dpa: With the Elisa method measured and then the LC-MS / MS method confirmed higher values may be taken as evidence.
The Environment Department has made no “ranking” of the tested beers Notwithstanding any other allegations of German Brewers Federation. It is not the aim of the publication, beer certain brands or up or devalue from certain regions. In the publication, the beers are unaware to the measured glyphosate but by the sales of beer brands. Further, it is to literally the background paper: The published values give […] Only the burden on each batch tested, and can allow a general statement about the impact of the beer of a certain brand.
The Environment Department has never said that malting barley is treated shortly before harvest with glyphosate to facilitate the harvest ( “desiccation”). The publication puts it: For cereals, which is intended for brewing purposes, the use of glyphosate to speed up the ripening process (the so-called just before the harvest” desiccation “) banned since the germination of corn would otherwise severely limited and from it would win no more malt.
The reactions of breweries that its own beers can be tested more accurately after the release, and want to look in more detail on the purchase of raw materials in the future. The common goal of consumer advocates and breweries should be clean, well and fairly produced food. Since this is also an object of the policy, the environmental institute strongly support the Bitburger Brauerei, the ruling on the pending re-registration of glyphosate as follows: Soon, the European Commission will decide on the renewal of glyphosate in agriculture for another 15 years. We hope that the politicians will make a decision in the interest of consumers in Europe.