The news magazine the Ecologist published a summary of the findings from a study scientists recently conducted on the effects of glyphosate on future generations. The study proved, at least in laboratory animals, that the cancer-causing properties of glyphosate can be passed down to second and third generations. Glyphosate is the active herbicide in Roundup weed killer manufactured by Monsanto. Monsanto’s parent company is Bayer. The study inspired calls to regulators to ban the sale of products that contain glyphosate in countries belonging to the European Union.
The researchers who conducted the study exposed lab rats to glyphosate. Those rats reproduced, and their offspring reproduced as well. The second and third generation rats suffered various adverse health conditions such as kidney disease, congenital disabilities, obesity, prostate, and ovarian diseases even though researchers protected the offspring from exposure to glyphosate.
The researchers’ findings may be used as persuasive evidence to convince European health regulators to ban glyphosate. Additionally, 1.3 million petitioners signed a petition advocating for the European authorities to ban the substance from the sale. The movement could inspire the European Union health authorities to ban the herbicide as an emergency measure before the substance comes up for renewal of its current license in 2022. Although regulators banned the substance in 2012, the regulators lifted that ban in 2017 and gave glyphosate a 5-year license. Even if the whole of the European Union declines as a body to revoke the license for glyphosate, individual member countries of the EU can act on their initiative and revoke the license.
Members of the Health and Environmental Alliance, known as HEAL, strongly advocate for revocation of the license of glyphosate use in the EU. They argue that regulators must consider the possible effects that second and third generations of people exposed to glyphosate may experience even though they were never exposed to the chemicals.
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