A new study found that being exposed to small amounts of Roundup weed killer on the regular—thousands of times lower than what's permitted in U.S. drinking water—can damage the liver and kidneys. Roundup is an herbicide made by Monsanto that's used to kill weeds known to compete with crops like cotton, soy, and corn.
The study analyzed the genes of mice used in a 2012 study that were exposed to low levels of Roundup in drinking water, and found they had liver and kidney damage.
According to Environmental Health News (EHN):
"'There were more than 4,000 genes in the liver and kidneys whose levels of expression had changed' in the dosed rats compared to the non-dosed rats, [senior author Michael Antoniou, head of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King’s College London] said. Genes serve as the body's switches, controlling different functions. Turn one gene off at the wrong time, or fail to turn it on at the proper time, and serious consequences could happen. Different patterns of gene function are known to underlie the health and disease status of organs."
Roundup weed killer is among the most popular and widely used herbicides in the U.S.—300 million pounds of it were sprayed on crops in 2012. In fact, traces of it were found on 90 percent of 300 soybean samples, according to an article in National Geographic.
“Given even very low levels of exposure, Roundup can potentially result in organ damage when it comes to liver and kidney function,” Antoniou said to EHN. “The severity we don’t know, but our data say there will be harm given enough time."
Last March, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the French-based cancer research arm of the World Health Organization (WHO) listed glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup weed killer, as a probable human carcinogen after extensive research was analyzed.
Related on Organic Authority
Image: Mike Mozart