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Glyphosate/Roundup & Human Male Infertility

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Steep decline in human male sperm count concomitant with rise in testicular germ cell cancer, congenital malformations of the male reproductive tract and drop in serum testosterone levels, all pointing towards increasing exposure to glyphosate/Roundup herbicides during the past decades, now corroborated by lab findings Dr Mae-Wan Ho  

The headline of a newspaper article published in 2010 [1] refers to findings from decades of research carried out by Niels Shakkebaek, a professor at University of Copenhagen. Male infertility has been rising sharply in industrialized countries worldwide, one in five healthy men between the ages of 18 and 25 produce abnormal sperm counts. The problems start in the womb, says Dr. Gillian Lockwood, medical director of Midland Fertility Services in the UK. Testis development begins in the growing foetus. Factors blamed include too much beef in the diet rich in polycyclic aromatics, obesity during pregnancy, exposure to smoke, pesticides, traffic fumes, plastics and even soybeans.

Shakkebaek first highlighted the issue during a mini symposium at the European Medical Research Councils plenary meeting in Strasbourg in 2009. Semen quality has been declining in the past half century. In men without fertility problems, average sperm count dropped from 113 x 106 to 66 x 106/ml. About 20 % of young men in various European countries have sperm counts below the WHO (World Health Organization) reference level of 2o m/ml, and 40 % of have levels below 40 m/ml associated with prolonging the time to pregnancy [2]. Concomitantly, the demand for assisted reproductive technology (ART) is growing. In Denmark, more than 7 % of all children born in 2007 were conceived using ART.

There are geographical differences in semen quality. Finnish men have 35 % higher sperm counts than Danish men, while Scottish and French sperm counts are in between. Japanese sperm counts are as low as those of the Danes, and Singapore men have even lower sperm counts.

The trend in semen quality has implications for health in general, as men with poor semen quality seem to have increased mortality rates and shorter life expectancy. Infertility is also closely linked to several dysfunctions and abnormalities of male reproductive organs that have been rising concomitantly with infertility.

Infertility trend associated with testicular germ cell cancer, congenital malformations & low testosterone

Testicular germ cell cancer (TGC) is the commonest cancer in young men in many countries, associated with impaired semen quality and lower fertility rates even prior to cancer development. The incidence of TGC has been increasing over the past 40 to 50 years in the majority of industrialized countries coincidentally with the declining trend in semen quality. TGC is initiated during foetal development. The regional differences in TGC incidence in Europe follow the same pattern as observed for semen quality.    


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