PULLMAN – A study conducted by researchers at Washington State University (WSU) has revealed a multitude of diseases and other health issues related to exposure to the world’s most popular chemical weed-killing agent.

Project scientists exposed laboratory rats to glyphosate, commonly known commercially as Roundup, and discovered the development of prostate, kidney and ovarian diseases, birth defects and obesity in their second- and third-generation offspring.

WSU professor of biological sciences, Michael Skinner, detailed in a press release that he and his colleagues exposed gestating rats to only half the amount of the herbicide which was expected to show no adverse health effects.

Indeed, the parent rodents and their initial pups showed no ill effects from exposure to the chemical, however, the two generations of offspring which followed did.

Skinner and his colleagues call this phenomenon “generational toxicology” and this isn’t the first time they have observed it, having witnessed the same thing in laboratory tests involving various herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, fossil fuels, plastic compounds, and insect repellants in prior studies.

WSU’s research is just the latest in a recent string of studies which have uncovered similar health concerns over glyphosate, including a University of Washington project whose findings were published in February that linked the agent to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma by up to 41 percent and a separate WSU study published in December of 2018 which found those who live near areas that are regularly subject to treatment with the herbicide possess a 33 percent greater likelihood of an early death due to Parkinson’s disease.

“The ability of glyphosate and other environmental toxicants to impact our future generations needs to be considered,” said Skinner. “And is potentially as important as the direct exposure toxicology done today for risk assessment.”

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