The more glyphosate in the feed, the higher the number of birth defects in the herd
Glyphosate has been found in malformed piglets. The research study was conducted by a team of researchers from Germany and Egypt in collaboration with the Danish pig farmer Ib Pedersen, whose pigs were analysed for glyphosate content.
The rate of malformations increased to one out of 260 born piglets if sow feeds contained 0.87-1.13 ppm glyphosate in the first 40 days of pregnancy. In the case of 0.25 ppm glyphosate in sow feeds, one out of 1432 piglets was malformed. In this case, therefore, a higher dose of glyphosate led to more malformations.
The piglets showed different abnormalities, including ear atrophy, spinal and cranial deformations, hole in the skull, and leg atrophy. In one piglet, one eye was not developed; it had a single large one (cyclopia, a malformation observed in Argentine populations exposed to Roundup spraying). There were piglets without a trunk, with an "elephant tongue", and a female piglet with testes. One malformed piglet had a swollen belly and the foregut and hindgut were not connected.
The highest concentrations of glyphosate were found in the lungs and heart, with the lowest concentrations in muscle.
The researchers note, "Further investigations are urgently needed to prove or exclude the role of glyphosate in malformations in piglets and other animals."
This would mean feeding laboratory animals a diet containing the same concentrations of glyphosate (in the form of Roundup) as were in Ib Pedersen's pigs feed, in a multigenerational study. This would provide the definitive causative proof needed to condemn glyphosate herbicides as the culprit.
Krüger M, Schrödl W, Pedersen Ib, Shehata AA (2014) Detection of glyphosate in malformed piglets. J Environ Anal Toxicol 4: 230. doi:10.4172/2161-0525.1000230
(By Claire Robinson)