A new study shows that glyphosate (Roundup) is toxic to the normal metabolism of dairy cows.
In the new study, researchers led by Dr Monika Krüger found that all cows investigated at eight Danish dairy farms excreted glyphosate in their urine.
The researchers found increased blood serum levels of parameters indicative for cell toxicity in cows at all farms. Correlations between levels of glyphosate and some of the measured blood serum parameters demonstrated that glyphosate is toxic to the normal metabolism of dairy cows.
Interestingly, the researchers found that levels of the essential trace minerals cobalt and manganese were "much too low in all animals for proper function and immune response (in comparison with reference levels)".
They said this could have been a result of glyphosate's strong effect of binding (chelating) cobalt and manganese in the soil, making them unavailable to plants and the animals that eat them.
Cobalt deficiency in animals leads to appetite loss, poor growth, wasting, failure to thrive and eventual death.
Manganese deficiency in animals causes birth defects in newborn animals, notably skeletal deformities, and stillborn foetuses.
Sounds familiar? Links between glyphosate/Roundup and birth defects in laboratory animals have been apparent since at least the 1980s - and the same effects have been reported in livestock animals whose feed is contaminated with Roundup.
Earlier this year, city-dwelling people in 18 countries across Europe were found to have traces of glyphosate in their urine.
Field investigations of glyphosate in urine of Danish dairy cows
Monika Krüger, Wieland Schrödl, Jürgen Neuhaus and Awad Ali Shehata
J Environ Anal Toxicol 2013, 3:5
Full study available at:
In the present study, thirty dairy cows from each of eight Danish dairy farms were investigated for excretion of glyphosate in urine. Blood serum parameters indicative of cytotoxicity as alkaline phosphatase (AP), glutamate dehydrogenase (GLDH), glutamate oxaloacetate transaminase (GOT), creatinine kinase CK), nephrotoxicity, (urea,
creatine), cholesterol and the trace elements as manganese (Mn), cobalt (Co), selenium (Se), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) were investigated. All cows excreted glyphosate in their urine but in varying concentrations. Increased levels of GLDH, GOT and CK in cows from all farms demonstrate a possible effect of glyphosate on liver and muscle cells. High urea levels in some farms could be due to nephrotoxicity of glyphosate. Also the unexpected very low levels of Mn and Co were observed in all animals which could be explained due to a strong mineral chelating effect of glyphosate. In contrast the mean levels of Cu, Zn and Se were within the normal reference range. In conclusion, this study gives the first documentation to which extent Danish dairy cattle are exposed to Glyphosate and its impact on blood parameters.