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Roundup Weed Killer Linked to Potential Liver Disease

Jan 16, 2017

A study published in early January 2017 reveals that low levels of exposure to the pesticide Roundup over a long period of time can cause liver disease in rats. The findings are likely to arouse further scrutiny of Roundup's questionable active ingredient, glyphosate, reports Newswise.

Roundup Study Background

Roundup Weed Killer Linked to Potential Liver Disease

Published in the peer-reviewed paper Scientific Reports, this study is unique in that it is the first to show a causative connection between contact or ingestion of Monsanto's Roundup, at a "real world" environmental dose and a serious liver condition.

Female rats were given an extremely low dose of Roundup pesticide over a two-year period and were found to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The dose given was less that what people are normally exposed to in the environment and thousands of times below what is allowed by regulators, Newswise reports.

A member of the Gene Expression and Therapy Group at King's College London and an author of the paper, Dr. Michael Antoniou says, "The findings of our study are very worrying as they demonstrate for the first time a causative link between an environmentally relevant level of Roundup consumption over the long-term and a serious disease - namely non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Our results also suggest that regulators should reconsider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides."

According to Dr. Antoniou, NAFLD is a common condition and occurs in at least one in five people. Individuals with type 2 diabetes are especially prone to NAFLD.

Dr. Robin Mesnage, a research associate at Kings, said, "The concentration of glyphosate that was added to the drinking water of the rats corresponds to a concentration found in tap water for human consumption. It is also lower than the contamination of some foodstuffs," reports the DailyMail.com.u.k.

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), is one of an increasing number of civil society activists, cancer charities, and medical professionals, and has repeatedly lobbied for an end to the licensing of glyphosate.

Personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman LLP are actively reviewing potential lawsuits on behalf of individuals who have been injured by exposure to chemicals that may have led to disease.

Glyphosate Controversy

Glyphosate is already classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) of the World Health Organization, as a "probable carcinogen." It is also known as a "potential endocrine disrupting chemical." This recent study adds to evidence about the probable harm to human health from glyphosate-based herbicides, that includes Roundup. Genon K. Jensen, Executive Director of HEAL says, "Given people's unavoidable exposures from the massive increase in the use of these weed killers over the past 30 years, surely it is time to ban it on precautionary grounds."

At the end of 2016, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) began to consider whether glyphosate should be classified as a human carcinogen under European classification and labelling law. The discussion will continue at its next meeting in March 2017 held by its Risk Assessment Committee (RAC). The legal deadline for the adoption of RAC's assessment is November 2017.

Several European Union (EU) member states have already taken steps to curb the use of glyphosate. Malta's Environment Ministry in July 2016, asked their pesticide regulator to implement "political direction given by the ministry towards a ban." Garden centers have been told by the French Environment Minister to stop selling glyphosate to individuals unless a qualified vendor provides instructions. Steps in this direction have also been taken in Denmark and the Netherlands.

A petition was signed by over 250,000 European citizens that urged the Health and Food Safety Commissioner, Vytenis Andriukaitis, and responsible ministers of the member states "to decline the license renewal of glyphosate."

Effects from Roundup or Glyphosate Exposure

Individuals who are exposed to even low levels of the pesticide may have symptoms that include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain, spider-like blood vessels, jaundice, fluid build-up, and swelling of the legs. Roundup or glyphosate are the most commonly used weed killers on British farms as well as around the world, reports the DailyMail.com.u.k.

Importantly, the glyphosate is a mainstay of genetically modified (GM) farming, especially in the United States. GM crops, such as soya and corn have been modified in laboratories by companies like Monsanto in order to make them immune to spraying with Roundup. This allows famers to douse their crops with glyphosate which kills any weeds but allows the food plants to survive. The recent research shows that low levels of pesticide residue from these plants make their way into the human diet in everything from breakfast cereals to corn snacks and biscuits.

Early stages of NAFLD don't usually cause harm, but, if it gets worse, it can lead to serious liver damage, including cirrhosis, which can be deadly. High levels of fat in the liver is also linked to an increased risk of problems such as diabetes, heart attacks and strokes, according to the DailyMail.com.u.k.

Legal Help for Individuals Exposed to Chemicals If you or someone you know has been injured by chemicals that may have caused a disease, you may have valuable legal rights. Parker Waichman LLP is a nationwide, renowned law firm that has successful experience handling personal injury cases. We urge you to contact the Parker Waichman personal injury lawye at 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).


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