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Long-term exposure to tiny amounts of Roundup—thousands of times lower than what is permitted in U.S. drinking water—may lead to serious problems in the liver and kidneys, according to a new study.
The study looked at the function of genes in these organs and bolsters a controversial 2012 study that found rats exposed to small amounts of the herbicide Roundup in their drinking water had liver and kidney damage.
“Given even very low levels of exposure, Roundup can potentially result in organ damage,” said senior author Michael Antoniou, head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London. “The severity we don’t know, but our data say there will be harm given enough time,” he said.
In the 2012 study, rats were fed mixtures of genetically modified corn and Roundup. Researchers, led by Gilles-Éric Séralini, a professor of molecular biology at the University of Caen in France, reported that exposure to very low doses of Roundup for two years seemed to spur kidney and liver damage.
But the experiment design and results were highly controversial; the paper was retracted and eventually republished last year.
In the current study, Antoniou and colleagues compared the female mice from the 2012 group and found big differences in their genes compared to rats that were not fed Roundup.
While the number of genes was high, the actual changes in levels of expression were pretty small. “They may be meaningful and may not,” said Bruce Blumberg, a professor and researcher at the University of California who was not involved in the study.
Antoniou and colleagues can’t pin the specific organ problems to glyphosate.
“They can’t say which caused what, but what you have is an association,” Blumberg said.
Read full, original post: More evidence of Roundup’s link to kidney, liver damage