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New Research Highlights Impacts of Roundup Weedkiller on Wildlife

Even at approved regulatory levels, the weedkiller causes embryonic development failure, significant DNA damage, and interferes with animals’ metabolism and gut function

Prolonged exposure to environmentally relevant concentrations of the weedkiller Roundup causes significant harm to keystone species, according to new research at the University of Birmingham.

A team in the University’s School of Biosciences used waterfleas, or Daphnia, to test the effects prolonged exposure to concentrations of Roundup deemed safe by regulatory agencies.

They found that even at approved regulatory levels, the weedkiller causes embryonic development failure, significant DNA damage, and also interferes with the animals’ metabolism and gut function.

These findings are important since Daphnia are at the heart of aquatic food webs. They can be used to assess the impacts of environmental changes on ecosystems. The results also offer a starting point for tracking these effects across different species, including the potential effects of herbicides on humans.

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