Pesticide Roundup Found To Alter Sperm Quality In Animal Study

shutterstock_147129197GM crops have recently gone through a series of controversy after controversy. It may have affected how most people begin to see the technology and whether it does provide a benefit or becomes a headache in the long run. It seems that the negative points concerning GM crops continue to be highlighted in public now that more and more people are becoming aware of it. Even some of the supposed benefits of using GM crops have recently begun to turn into health issues. One example is the study that indicates exposure to the pesticide Roundup alters sperm quality in animal studies.

According to research done by scientists from the University of Caen, exposure to glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup changed the testicular function in rats exposed to a concentration of 0.5 percent of the said herbicide for a total of 8 days. This concentration is similar to the pesticide levels in water after spraying the herbicide on agricultural lands. While the study found no difference in sperm concentration, mobility and other features, the scientists found an increase in abnormal sperm formation measured in two, three and four months after the short exposure.

Roundup is a popular and widely used pesticide in many parts of the world. Because of its powerful effects, it is also the herbicide of choice for certain GM crops engineered genetically to acquire resistance from being affected by the powerful herbicide.

The study involved exposing fifteen 60-day old male rats to 0.5 percent of Roundup for a total of 8 days. The researchers also closely monitored endocrine and testicular functions on the 68th, 87th and 122th days after exposure to the pesticide. The said study was the first time that researchers tried to measure the delayed effects of Roundup exposure among mammals.

The researchers found an increase of abnormal sperm morphology despite the normal sperm concentration and motility. This might indicate that exposure to Roundup may alter the balance of androgen and estrogen hormones, raising questions on impaired sperm efficiency.

The study raises questions whether prolonged exposure to Roundup may come with more serious effects. This may be a concern for many farm workers, pesticide sprayers and even home gardeners who might be exposed to the widely used herbicide. It may have a drastic effect in their ability to conceive a child. The researchers suggest minimizing exposure to the said pesticide or ingesting crops sprayed with Roundup to prevent its possible effects on reproductive functions.

Source: GM Watch

 
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