Monsanto’s Roundup, which is the most popular herbicide used today, has been found to ignite morphological changes in amphibians.
The research, conducted using tadpoles, found that environmentally relevant concentrations of Roundup are enough to cause two species of amphibians to actually change shape. This is the first research to show that herbicides can have such an effect on animals.
Setting up outdoor tanks closely resembling the environment of natural wetlands, study researcher Rick Relyea, University of Pittsburgh professor of biological sciences in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and director of Pitt’s Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, added 3 tadpoles to each tank and exposed them to a range of Roundup concentrations over a 3 week period. The cages also contained large predators, which naturally cause changes in tadpole morphology. These natural changes include a larger tail, due to chemical emissions.
While it wasn’t surprising to see morphological changes take part due to the naturally emitted chemicals from predators, it was rather shocking to find out that Roundup had the same effects — causing the tails of the tadpoles to grow in size.