A recent study published by Nature.com shows evidence of liver disease from long-term low-dose exposure to Roundup. Predictably, Monsanto has been dismissive. Rats that consumed a very little Roundup in their water developed liver problems. [Here’s the study: Mesnage, R. et al. Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide. Sci. Rep. 7, 39328; doi: 10.1038/srep39328 (2017)]
TWO YEARS, LOW DOSES OF ROUNDUP
The study, performed by scientists from King’s College in the UK and University of Caen, France, took two years. They designed it to evaluate a realistic situation where exposure is to the formulated product, not the active ingredient (glyphosate) alone. They gave a group of rats water contaminated with a small amount of Roundup, while the control group was given clean water.
“… a 2-year study was conducted where rats were administered with a Roundup GBH via drinking water at a concentration of 0.1 ppb (0.05 μg/L glyphosate; daily intake 4 ng/kg bw/day), which is an admissible concentration within the European Union (0.1 μg/L) and USA (700 μg/L)18. The results showed that Roundup caused an increased incidence in signs of anatomical pathologies, as well as changes in urine and blood biochemical parameters suggestive of liver and kidney functional insufficiency.”
The researchers found that when the rats were young, the effects were not significant, but as the rats aged, the ones consuming Roundup developed liver disease much more than the control group that drank clean water.
“The results of the study presented here imply that chronic consumption of extremely low levels of a GBH formulation (Roundup), at admissible glyphosate-equivalent concentrations, are associated with marked alterations of the liver proteome and metabolome. These changes in molecular profile overlap substantially with biomarkers of [Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease] NAFLD and its progression to NASH [non-alcoholic steatohepatosis].”
We should caution that the sample size was small (10 rats in each group), and the researchers themselves point out that they cannot be certain that the effect carries over to humans. Nevertheless, it’s certainly another reason for caution, and a lot of sites concerned with chemicals are picking up the news. For example: The Organic Consumers Association.