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Low-level exposure to Roundup associated with organ damage in rats

Jan 31, 2017
Photo credit: Global Justice Now

Photo credit: Global Justice Now

A new study published in the journal Nature Technical Reports builds on previous work that correlates rat exposure to Roundup at very low levels with liver and kidney damage. As part of a study conducted in 2012, researchers added Roundup at extremely low doses—much lower than permitted in U.S. drinking water—to rats’ drinking water for two years. A separate group of control rats was also fed uncontaminated water over the same period. The results from this earlier study suggested that exposure to low levels of Roundup was associated with organ damage. The current study builds on this research by comparing genetic differences between the Roundup rats and the control group from the original study. The researchers found that over 4,000 different genes were expressed at varying levels in the Roundup treated rats compared to the control rats and that many of the genes in which those changes were seen are typically linked to organ damage. Although this study fails to confirm that exposure to Roundup is the cause of the liver and kidney damage observed in the rats fed contaminated water, its findings do support the association between the exposure to Roundup and organ damage observed in the previous study.

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