"Very low doses of some types of the herbicide Roundup can disrupt human liver cell function; the formulations' toxicity may be tied to their 'inactive' ingredients rather than the active weed-killing ingredient glyphosate.
French scientists report that a number of Roundup formulations tested at very dilute concentrations can alter hormone actions and cause human liver cells to die within 24 hours of treatment.
The toxicity of some of the formulations was independent of how much glyphosate – the active herbicide in Roundup – they contained, suggesting it is other 'inert' ingredients that may alone – or in combination with each other and/or the weedkiller – assault the cells. This study's results are similar to prior studies – as reported in a recent Environmental Health News article – that find human embryo cells are affected more by the Roundup formulations and an inert ingredient than by the active ingredient.
The levels of Roundup used in this study are similar to what is typically found in food crops or animal feed treated with Roundup. Because of this, it is possible that people, livestock and wildlife may be exposed to levels of the herbicide mix that can damage cells."
Negin P. Martin summarizes an article by C. Gasniera et al. in the journal Toxicology for Environmental Health News August 18, 2009.