Glyphosate kills microorganisms useful for plants, animals and humans. I study

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Elia Tabuenca García
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New study shows that one of the best known herbicides, glyphosate, has negative effects on microbial communities and on health

Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

A new study shows that one of the best known herbicides, glyphosate, has negative effects on microbial communities, negatively impacting the health of plants, animals and even humans.

Il glyphosate it is one of the most common chemicals in the world, and its presence is recorded in many herbicides and herbicides: its use has increased exponentially for about twenty years, since the era of genetically modified crops began. This herbicide so toxic contaminates the environment and ecosystems, ending up in the aquifers and agricultural products and thus also arriving on our tables.

The scientific literature, so far, did not give ample space to the negative effects of this substance - that's why a new study wanted to investigate the consequences, for humans and the environment, of exposure to it. Non-lethal concentrations of glyphosate have been found to alter the composition of microbial communities, destroying potentially beneficial microorganisms while protecting pathogenic ones. Researchers focused on three aspects of their research: the accumulation of glyphosate in the ecosystem (including animals and plants); the effects of the substance on microbes present in soil, animals and humans; finally, if the impacts observed on microbes can have negative consequences on plants, animals and humans.

Glyphosate degrades in the environment in the form of aminomethylphosphoric acid (AMPA) within a few days. However, the soil and the organic material present in it absorb the substance and its metabolite AMPA, slowing down the degradation process and making it easier for both substances to penetrate the ecosystem; Furthermore, the soil is unable to absorb all the chemical constituents, and residues of them end up in the aquifers during heavy rains: North and South America are estimated to have the highest concentrations of glyphosate in the aquifers.

@ Frontiers in Enviromental Science

But what is the impact of this substance on the microbiome of plants and animals? Glyphosate acts on specific groups of microbes which are particularly sensitive to its effect and which travel through the entire food chain, thus impacting the health of all organisms, plants and animals. As for plants, glyphosate and AMPA cause changes at the level of the entophytic microbiome, responsible for plant growth; moreover, they cause a reduction in the production of "defenses" against pathogens. Glyphosate can also damage the absorption of nutrients by plants, destroying the microbes involved in the synthesis of nutrients such as phosphorus, iron, manganese, copper and zinc.

As far as animals are concerned, pollinating insects are certainly those most in contact with herbicides used in agriculture: glyphosphate can alter their intestinal microbiome, decreasing their mobility through a series of specific pathologies - such as deformed wings syndrome. (DWS) or an increased sensitivity to attacks by Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite that attacks some species of bees. In other animals and humans, a change in the gut microbial communities can result in various forms of dysbiosis - changes that affect the gastrointestinal tract and limit the ability of the immune, endocrine and nervous systems. If we consider that pathogenic microbes are less sensitive to the effects of glyphosate, it is not difficult to imagine how these can, on the contrary, proliferate, accumulating in the organism with very serious effects on health.

Finally, the authors of the study observed a connection between intestinal health and degenerative neurological problems: people most exposed to glyphosate demonstrate a higher incidence of forms of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, autism, hyperactivity, attention deficit.

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Fonte: Frontiers in Enviromental Science

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