The results indicate that significant and potentially detrimental effects from glyphosate had been detected in the gut bacteria of rat pups born to mothers, who appeared to have been unaffected themselves.
“It shouldn’t be happening and it is quite remarkable that it is,” says one of the report’s authors, Daniele Mandrioli. “Disruption of the microbiome has been associated with a number of negative health outcomes, such as obsesity, diabetes and immunological problems.”
Two-thirds of known carcinogens had also been discovered in the rats, Mandrioli said, although further investigation would be needed to establish any long-term risks to human health.
“We saw an increase in ano-genital distance (AGD) in the formulation that is of specific importance for reproductive health,” Mandrioli said. “It might indicate a disruption of the normal level of sexual hormones.” This AGD measurement is commonly used to indicate neonatal and reproductive disorders in both male and female animals and humans.
The study’s three peer-reviewed papers will be published in Environmental Health later in May, ahead of a €5m follow-up study that will compare the safe level against multiple other doses.