The government has been urged to take action and ban the use of glyphosate herbicide by public bodies, by People before Profit TD Bríd Smith.

The TD’s comments come in response to the findings of a US study which found that glyphosate was present in more than 80% of adult and child urine samples tested.

Carried out by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and published in June this year, the findings have been labelled “an alarm call for the state and the EU on chemicals use” by the deputy.

The TD has called on the government to ban public bodies such as the Office of Public Works and local authorities from using the herbicide immediately. She said:

“This is the latest in a long line of worrying studies that are warning us about the use of this chemical in agriculture and wider society.

“I have never been reassured by the industries defence of it, nor its refutation of those and other studies.”

In addition to her calls for such a ban, Smith also also urged the government to commence its own study on the prevalence of the herbicide here in human bodies.

Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup which is one of the most used herbicides around the world.

In her comments, Smith pointed to a number of other studies. She noted one from 2015 which was carried out by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Cancer Research, that listed glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.

She added: “The very least this latest study demands is a ban by all public bodies using Roundup, but we also need to look at its use in agriculture given that its clearly making its way into human bodies, chiefly via diets.

“This is especially disturbing when we look at the elevated levels of the chemical found in young people in this study.”

Smith also stated that attempts to refute studies such as this are often made by industry stakeholders who would have a vested interest in maintaining the widespread use of the herbicide.

She is the second politician to voice concern on the product this week. On Modnay (July 11), Independent Senator Victor Boyhan voiced his reaction to the study, labelling it “frightening”, given the potential impact that this chemical could have on humans and the environment.