Want a round of Round Up with your beer? The German beer industry is in shock after finding that 14 different popular beer brands have traces of the ‘probably’ carcinogenic herbicide, glyphosate – an ingredient found in Monsanto’s best-selling weed killer, Round Up. Germany’s Agricultural minster is playing down the risks in order to save one of the countries’ best-selling exports.
Glyphosate levels were as high as 30 micrograms per liter, even in beer that is supposed to be brewed from only water, malt, and hops. This finding by the Munich Environmental Institute calls into question the rampant spraying of Round Up on both GMO and non-GMO crops around the world, and casts doubt upon Germany’s 500-year-old beer purity law.
The EU Commission was looking to extend approval for the use of glyphosate in Germany, and other EU countries in April for another 15 years. The current license runs out this summer.
Following the findings by France, that glyphosate is likely a human carcinogen, as well as the World Health Organization’s cancer research arm, the IARC, finding that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, glyphosate in Germany’s coveted beer is not a positive discovery for the makers of this herbicide, which include companies like Monsanto.
Who is Responsible?
Germany’s farm federation has denied responsibility, saying that malt derived from glyphosate-sprayed barley has been banned. The group admits, though, that glyphosate could have been used on farms prior to the ban, meaning barley could still be grown in glyphosate-drenched soil.
The Bremen office of the brewery giant Anheuser-Busch described the institute’s findings as “not plausible,” citing a bill of health issued by Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) that the amounts of glyphosate found in beer did not pose a threat to consumers. In a statement, the Institute said:
“An adult would have to drink around 1,000 liters (264 US gallons) of beer a day to ingest enough quantities to be harmful to health.”
As with other Big Ag deniers, they seem to forget that glyphosate exposure comes from multiple sources, aside from just contaminated beer.
Findings from Munich NGO
The Munich Environmental Institute found glyphosate readings between 0.46 and 29.74 micrograms per liter in 14 different popular beers.
The highest reading was 300 times the legal limit glyphosate in drinking water in Germany, calling this contamination level, “alarming.”