Preliminary data on glyphosate, glufosinate, and metabolite contamination in Italian honey samples


Submitted: 17 October 2023
Accepted: 11 December 2023
Published: 13 February 2024
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Glyphosate and glufosinate are among the most widely used pesticides in agriculture worldwide. Their extensive use leads to the presence of their residues on crops and in the surrounding environment. Beehives, bees, and apiculture products can represent potential sources for the accumulation of these substances and their metabolites, and the consequences for bee health, as well as the level of risk to human health from consuming contaminated food, are still unclear. Furthermore, information on the contamination levels of honey and other beehive products by these compounds remains poorly documented. This study is part of a broader research effort aimed at developing specific analytical methods for monitoring the level of these contaminants in bee products. The methodology employed enabled the acquisition of preliminary information concerning the levels of glyphosate and glufosinate contamination in honey samples obtained from various retailers in Italy to assess compliance with the limits established by Regulation 293/2013. The liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry analysis of the 30 honey samples revealed quantifiable levels of glyphosate in eight samples, with contamination ranging from 5.4 to 138.5 ng/g. Notably, one sample of the wildflower type showed residue levels nearly three times the maximum residue limit. Additionally, trace levels of glyphosate contamination were detected in another ten samples. It is noteworthy that glufosinate and its metabolites were not detected in any of the analyzed samples within the established method’s detection ranges.


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1.
Rampazzo G, Zironi E, Depau G, Pagliuca G, Gazzotti T. Preliminary data on glyphosate, glufosinate, and metabolite contamination in Italian honey samples. Ital J Food Safety [Internet]. 2024 Feb. 13 [cited 2024 Apr. 16];13(1). Available from: https://www.pagepressjournals.org/ijfs/article/view/11996

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