All necessary tests are carried out to ensure that any agricultural product consumed by the public is not dangerous to consumers, the government said this evening.

It was reacting to laboratory tests carried out by Friends of the Earth which showed that nine out of 10 urine samples from people in Malta contained traces of the weed killer Glyphosate.

The government said that Glyphosate was an approved substance used as a herbicide in the EU and extensive information about its effects on man, the environment and its use was regularly evaluated.

It said that the information available to-date showed that the substance had low toxicity levels in humans and according to the evaluation carried out, its use according to the conditions on its label did not lead to unacceptable danger to the environment and humans. This information was publicly accessible on the European Food Safety Authority and European Commission websites.

The substance, the government said, was used as a weed killer in public zones and gardens. It was not normally used in agricultural activity.

To always lower the public’s exposure to pesticides, even for sustainability purposes, weeds were, as far as possible, physically removed.

From annual analysis carried out between 2010 and today on fruit, vegetables and animal products, no traces of Glyphosate were found in local samples. These tests were carried out in specialised and accredited foreign laboratories.

The government said that before reaching conclusions, one should evaluate the validity of the sample, the way the samples were tested, the information on the exposure of people who volunteered a sample and the statistical methodology used.

The Friends of the Earth study should be evaluated to find the origin of the substance in the samples on a European level and if it resulted that Glyphosate products were dangerous, all necessary measures would be taken to safeguard the health of the Maltese public.

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