Despite industry propaganda, herbicides and pesticides, once used, do not dissipate: they persist in the environment, contaminating soil, air and water and, ultimately, in us when we eat food grown in, or animals fed from, that soil. In a new joint study by the University of Wageningen, the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and RIKILT laboratories – published in the scientific journal “Science of the Total Environment”  the contamination of almost half of European soils by glyphosate was documented. Results of the analysis of 300 soil samples in 10 different European countries reveal that 45% of agricultural land in Europe contains glyphosate and its neurotoxic metabolite AMPA . 
This is just the latest, and certainly not the last blow to the theories on the presumed, and never proven safety of agrochemicals in agriculture.
The study represents a milestone in the heated debate on the safety of agrochemicals, highlighting the inadequacy of the investigations conducted so far on pesticide environmental contamination, confirmed by Prof. Violette Geissen, of Wageningen University: “Glyphosate and AMPA are highly persistent once they are attached to soil particles. This increases the risk of environmental contamination through factors such as wind erosion, rainfall or watercourses”.
This study adds to the already numerous proof of the dangers of glyphosate-based pesticides and of the superficiality with which the institutions responsible for citizens’ safety have worked so far. Faced with such results, it is clear that more research is needed before pesticides are approved, regulated and distributed.
In recent weeks numerous discussions have taken place in Brussels and more discussion is scheduled in Strasbourg on 23-26 October. On October 19th the European Parliament’s Environmental Committee backed a motion for the full phase out glyphosate by 2020 and to issue immediate restrictions on its use.
This follows the October 11 ENVI / AGRI committees discussion on the so-called Monsanto Papers, where the most prominent European and international regulatory agencies (EFSA, IARC) were present, along with several independent scientists and journalists. The debate shed even more light on the actual concerns about loopholes, conflicts of interest, corporate interference and pressure, which have characterized the risk assessment analysis that led to the 18 months exemption of glyphosate authorization in Europe at the end of 2016.
The recent reports, “Poisons in Our Plate”  and The Toxic Story of Round Up” , denounce how agribusiness giants have always interfered in the decisions of governments and international regulatory agencies through actions of lobbying, corruption and suppression of independent science, in order to increase their profits from the agrichemicals market, as well as to keep their control on the food market. This new data on soil contamination adds to a growing number of studies and investigations that demonstrate the extreme danger of pesticides on health and the environment. 
While health-focused organizations are focusing on pressuring the European Union to cancel authorization of the use of glyphosate and seriously reconsider its agricultural policies, giving priority to the rights of citizens to health and safety, consumers everywhere can avoid the many dangers of glyphosate intake by avoiding any food not labeled organic since any other designation (e.g, “natural”, “local” and similar, is no guarantee of glyphosate-safe food.
[This post was drafted by Rima E. Laibow, MD for whom I am posting it.]
 α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazolepropionic acid) a breakdown product of Glyphosate, is a specific agonist for the AMPA receptor, where it mimics the effects of the neurotransmitter glutamate