Portugal: glyphosate is polluting the country

Portugal: glyphosate is polluting the country

By Transgenics Fora

Analysis carried out for the first time, reveal that there is a high contamination with glyphosate in Portugal. The Bloco de Esquerda has proposed its prohibition, but the Assembly of the Republic ruled against it. Congressman Jorge Costa declared that the "situation" is totally "unacceptable" and hopes that the government will shortly change its current ambiguous position.

Platform for a Sustainable Agriculture disclosed the results of urine tests carried out on 26 people and some food samples and concluded that “unexpected and absolutely astonishing levels of glyphosate, (better known as Roundup), the synthetic chemical pesticide, were revealed. most used in Portuguese agriculture, and until now, the most ignored ”.

Platform denounces that “although the Ministry of Agriculture maintains, throughout successive governments, an annual food control plan that analyzes the presence of more than 300 pesticide residues, glyphosate has been excluded from the analysis. The same thing happens with drinking water, where the Does not include how the Ministry does not include glyphosate in the list of substances to be investigated by the supplier entities ”. Questioned this year, the Ministry of Agriculture "did not present any analysis, not even those established by the technical provisions of the European Union."

According to the analyzes carried out on people who volunteered for the study, "glyphosate was detected in 100% of the urine samples analyzed" These figures are much higher than those of other European countries: a survey carried out, in 2013, by the Friends of the Earth Association in 18 European countries, revealed contamination in 44% of people. "The least polluted Portuguese has three times more glyphosate than the worst German," says Plataforma.

The analysis of some foods shows that "glyphosate put regularly in the diet of the Portuguese, despite the fact that the values ​​would be below the legally established limits."

At least 89 municipalities use glyphosate

Platform warns that glyphosate is used in urban areas from North to South of the country, mainly by municipality, for the control of herbs in the streets and routes.

Regarding its use by the autarchies, the Diario de Noticias recalls that the Bloco de Esquerda asked the country's chambers if they used glyphosate and in what quantities. Of 107 responses it received, 89 municipal chambers said yes and 18 no.

The Esquerda Bloc presented in the Assembly of the Republic a draft Resolution recommending to the government the "vote against the renewal of the use of the carcinogenic Glyphosate in the EU and its prohibition of its use in the country", but the project was rejected in the Parliament on April 15, by the votes against the PSD and CDS and the abstention of the PS and the PCP. Similar initiatives by the PAN and the PEV were also rejected.

Jorge Costa: Situation "is totally unacceptable"

In statements to (the radio) TSF, the deputy of the Bloco, Jorge Costa highlighted the great use of glyphosate in our country, noting that “in recent years there has been a substitution - as a consequence of austerity policies, of municipal workers by the intensive use of this poison, which is identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as 'potentially carcinogenic' and it is totally unacceptable that this intensive use persists ”.

Jorge Costa also considered that the Portuguese government has an ambiguous position, hoping that this position will change soon. That was the government's response to the Bloco's request.

Action of the European Business Observatory in Brussels, on March 7, 2016

In an interview with Radio and TV de Portugal (RTP) the Minister of Agriculture, Capoulas Santos, said last Sunday that when he arrived at the ministry there was an orientation for Portugal to vote in the European Union (EU) in favor of glyphosate and that He recommended that, instead of voting in favor, Portugal abstain from the EU Committee of Experts, which must decide on May 18.

Capoulas Santos added that this is a "very sensitive issue," said that "the effect of glyphosate on health is" unclear, pointing to the need for more studies.

The Minister of Agriculture affirmed that a first step can be taken through the prohibition of the use of glyphosate in urban centers and defends the immediate prohibition of taloamine, which is an adjuvant of the herbicide.

Transgenics Platform Fora warned in relation to glyphosate "about the seriousness of this silent, invisible and possibly deadly pollution (according to the WHO, glyphosate is probably carcinogenic in humans, which has been demonstrated in laboratory animals)".

Transgenics Fora - Platform of political and social organizations against transgenics in Portugal.

Source:, May 1, 2016 / Translation: Carlos Abel Suárez

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