By Alison Bernstein and Alma Laney
The paper Assessment of Glyphosate Induced Epigenetic Transgenerational Inheritance of Pathologies and Sperm Epimutations: Generational Toxicology reported transgenerational epigenetic inheritance and increased disease rates after glyphosate exposure. Not surprisingly, the paper generated a lot of attention and discussion. Due to the focus on glyphosate by activist groups and recent lawsuits, we’ve taken an in-depth look at the state of the science on transgenerational epigenetic inheritance, the data in this paper, and the larger body of work from this lab.
Whether glyphosate exposure causes health problems through transgenerational epigenetic inheritance is an important research question. The original EPA reference dose is based on a transgenerational phenotype, even though this result has been determined to “be spurious and unrelated to treatment since more extensive evaluations in subsequent reproduction studies conducted at much higher doses did not replicate the offspring effects” (as explained in the draft human health assessment for glyphosate).
In this series, we address questions about transgenerational inheritance and epigenetics in general, and this glyphosate study in particular.