Glyphosate, the active chemical in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer that has been linked to cancer, may also be causing another major health risk in humans – fatty liver disease.

In a study published by the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine analyzed the urine of patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). They found that glyphosate levels were higher in patients with liver inflammation and damage than those without. The results were consistent regardless of the patient’s age, race, or Body Mass Index (BMI).

Patients with NAFLD, the most common form of chronic liver disease in developed countries, are at a higher risk of fibrosis progression and development to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (cancer). NAFLD affects an estimated 80-100 million people in the U.S. alone, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The study’s researchers said that rodents that were fed with a low dosage of glyphosate exhibited signs of hepatoxicity, liver congestion, necrosis, and DNA damage of the liver cells.

Farmers across the U.S. spray Roundup on crops that are genetically modified crops to survive applications of glyphosate. The chemical is found in many non-genetically modified grain crops as well.

The San Diego study was published just two days after a California jury awarded more than $2 billion to a couple who sued Monsanto alleging decades of Roundup use on their California properties caused them both to develop non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, the form of cancer most often associated with glyphosate exposure.

That trial was the third major loss for Monsanto in less than a year. The first Roundup trial ended in August 2018 with a $289.2 million jury verdict for plaintiff Dewayne “Lee” Johnson. The judge in that case ultimately reduced the award to $78 million, including punitive damages. The second case resulted in a March 28 jury verdict against Monsanto for $80 million, including $75 million in punitive damages.

Monsanto, which became part of the German multinational corporation Bayer last year, faces more than 13,000 Roundup-related lawsuits in the U.S. The number of cases against Monsanto over adverse health-related effects continues to surge.

The latest research linking Roundup to fatty liver disease will certainly widen the debate on how the widespread use of glyphosate is negatively impacting public health. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and is marketed for commercial and residential purposes.

According to UC San Diego Health, lead study author Paul J. Mills, Ph.D., professor and chief in the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at UC San Diego School of Medicine, plans another study that will involve putting a group of patients on an all-organic diet and tracking them for several months. Dr. Mills hopes to see how an herbicide-free diet might affect the biomarkers of liver disease.

Beasley Allen lawyers are currently only looking into cases involving non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma connected to Roundup exposure, however we will be certain to keep our eye on this concerning new development.

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