German pharmaceutical company Bayer AG is disputing claims that its popular weed killer Roundup might be linked to an increase in liver disease risk. Specifically, the company is fighting back against findings from a study by the University of California, San Diego of the product’s potential health risks, The Coast News Group reports.
Published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the study follows several other high-profile claims against glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) that have linked the chemical to an increased risk of cancer, birth defects and celiac disease, among other issues.
For this latest study, researchers examined the content of glyphosate in the urine samples of people with and without non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. They found higher glyphosate content in the urine of subjects who had liver disease than in that of those who did not. Additionally, the findings remained the same even after controlling results for possible underlying factors, such as age, body mass index, race and diabetes diagnosis.
In response to the study’s publication, Bayer representatives wrote in an official response: “While we are still examining this recently released study, the data indicates that the researchers failed to consider confounding factors including potential existing metabolic disorders in participants.”
The company, which owns Monsanto, the maker of Roundup, added that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report last month stating that the chemical poses no public health risks.
Meanwhile, Monsanto has lost three lawsuits in California since last summer to people claiming glyphosate caused their cancer.
To learn more about the ongoing public health controversy over RoundUp, click here.