Researchers see health effects across generations from popular weed killer

WSU researchers see health effects across generations from popular weed killer
Washington State University biologist Michael Skinner WSU researchers seen health effects across generations from the popular weed killer glyphosate. Credit: Washington State University

Washington State University researchers have found a variety of diseases and other health problems in the second- and third-generation offspring of rats exposed to glyphosate, the world's most popular weed killer. In the first study of its kind, the researchers saw descendants of exposed rats developing prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, obesity and birth abnormalities.

Michael Skinner, a WSU professor of biological sciences, and his colleagues exposed pregnant rats to the herbicide between their eighth and 14th days of gestation. The dose—half the amount expected to show no adverse effect—produced no apparent ill effects on either the parents or the first of offspring.

But writing in the journal Scientific Reports, the researchers say they saw "dramatic increases" in several pathologies affecting the second and third generations. The second generation had "significant increases" in testis, ovary and mammary gland diseases, as well as obesity. In third-generation males, the researchers saw a 30 percent increase in prostate disease—three times that of a control population. The third generation of females had a 40 percent increase in kidney disease, or four times that of the controls.

More than one-third of the second-generation mothers had unsuccessful pregnancies, with most of those affected dying. Two out of five males and females in the third generation were obese.

Skinner and his colleagues call this phenomenon "generational toxicology" and they've seen it over the years in fungicides, pesticides, jet fuel, the plastics compound bisphenol A, the insect repellant DEET and the herbicide atrazine. At work are epigenetic changes that turn genes on and off, often because of .

Skinner said he decided to study "due to it being one of the most commonly used compounds worldwide."

The chemical has been the subject of numerous studies about its health effects. The Skinner study is the third in the past few months out of Washington alone. A University of Washington study published in February found the chemical increased the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by as much as 41 percent. A Washington State University study published in December found state residents living close to areas subject to treatments with the herbicide are one-third more likely to die an early death from Parkinson's disease.

The chemical's generational toxicology represents a new downside that Skinner and his colleagues said should be incorporated into estimates of its risk.

"The ability of glyphosate and other environmental toxicants to impact our future generations needs to be considered," they write, "and is potentially as important as the direct exposure toxicology done today for risk assessment."


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Researchers see popular herbicide affecting health across generations

More information: Deepika Kubsad et al, Assessment of Glyphosate Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Pathologies and Sperm Epimutations: Generational Toxicology, Scientific Reports (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-42860-0
Journal information: Scientific Reports

Citation: Researchers see health effects across generations from popular weed killer (2019, April 23) retrieved 17 October 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-04-health-effects-popular-weed-killer.html
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Apr 23, 2019
Allowing use of Roundup and pesticides is criminal as for dioxin !
How can you expect that a fast poison to the life of plants, is safe to animals, and many bacteria of our gut,, without any slow dangerous overlooked effects, that will change all the human health in the world for generations, at the third generation nearly no more sperms !!
We are foolish to think that this poison to plants is safe for us !!
Our food is not safe, it is definitevely proved by theses studies on many 3 generations with control groups fed with no pesticides, and this is nearly no more possible, because all our food are contamined with pesticides and poisons !!
We are all guiny pigs and the consequence is the real epidemic of obesity, 1/3 of us, diabetes, explosive autisms, cancers....!.
We have all around 2mg/kg of Roundup in our flesh and blood during all our live up to our death and this study has exposed only between 8 to 14 dayx of mice gestation transiently to 25mg/kg/day ( ie. 25ppm only )

Apr 24, 2019
Get rid of Trump and get this crap off the market. Should have done it when the bees started dying.

Apr 24, 2019
Get rid of trump but keep this on the market. Many agencies around the world including The Who, UN, EU, Canada, Australia have relooked at safety data and said it is safe. Academic scsientist have no over sight of their research and do not contact the studies with GLP Good laboratory Practices which is the highest level of quality and good science. The data used by the agencies above has to have GLP data and is thoroughly checked time and time again. These academics ignore comment sense. For example a potentially toxic agent should not give lower effects at higher doses - this is what they publish on and say it is valid. They use test animals very sensitive to disease (all get a disease in the end) and use inadequate numbers of test animals so that the differences between the test material and no material is often due to chance. In fact other studies suggest glyphosate reduced cancer in male rats (which is also not true)

Apr 24, 2019
The Agency that said that Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen didn't include all the data but put it into the same hazard group as drinking hot drinks and processed meats - are we to ban these as well? Leave politics out of this. This is science. Consider what you will use instead glyphosate. No herbicide is not an option for most major crops. How will farmers manage when they can't grow corn, soy, cotton, wheat, barley etc without losing money? How do porter nations manage when they have to compete against the rich nations buying the higher priced grains? Just consider the higher cancer deaths (from sunlight) due to more working in the fields and who is going to do that work - not the modest to rich peoples!!!!

Apr 26, 2019
The Agency that said that Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen didn't include all the data but put it into the same hazard group as drinking hot drinks and processed meats - are we to ban these as well? Leave politics out of this. This is science. Consider what you will use instead glyphosate. No herbicide is not an option for most major crops. How will farmers manage when they can't grow corn, soy, cotton, wheat, barley etc without losing money? How do porter nations manage when they have to compete against the rich nations buying the higher priced grains? Just consider the higher cancer deaths (from sunlight) due to more working in the fields and who is going to do that work - not the modest to rich peoples!!!!

Well, considering that Roundup resistant weeds is on the rise, this is a technology that is no longer working, which is why the industry is now developing MORE TOXIC products to spray on the crops. We need to move back to sustainable organic agriculture.

Apr 29, 2019
This article has some glaring mistakes. " In third-generation males, the researchers saw a 30 percent increase in prostate disease—three times that of a control population. The third generation of females had a 40 percent increase in kidney disease, or four times that of the controls." If the disease rate is three times that of the controls it is 300 percent increase. Four times is 400 percent.

Apr 30, 2019
I'm happy to say I've gone fully organic since 2005. I tried to warn my friends and family, they all preferred to ignore the advice for reasons for their own health. More puzzlingly to me personally, was that they didn't think that other reasons, eg., other people's health, or the health of the environment, were important enough to not ignore.

Needless to say they are going to ignore this news as well. The real problem here is not Roundup, its something else that causes people to become very selfish and stupid while allowing them to maintain normal social function. I think it may be facebook.

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