"Large amounts of pharmaceutical compounds, from a wide spectrum of therapeutic classes, are used and prescribed in human and veterinary medicine worldwide. Following use, pharmaceuticals may be metabolised and will then be excreted in the urine and faeces. The resulting manure, slurry and sewage sludge will then typically be applied as a fertiliser to agricultural land. A wide range of pharmaceuticals (hormones, antibiotics and parasiticides) has been detected in manure, sewage sludge and soils throughout the year and some substances may also persist in the environment for months to years. A number of pharmaceuticals have been shown to be accumulated by plants and could result in negative effects.
Therefore this study will employ a systematic approach to investigate the mechanisms of uptake and toxicity of medicines in plants and the implications of these in terms of crop productivity and the safety of plant-derived foodstuffs to humans."
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