Researchers from Trier University investigated if the worldwide amphibian decline possibly correlates with the increasing use of glyphosate in the agrarian industry.
They found that only sparse data exist on concentrations of glyphosate and associated herbicidal compounds, e.g. surfactants, in the environment. This is although glyphosate has become the most dominant herbicide worldwide, one of the main reasons being the cultivation of genetically modified crops.
In their extensive literature evaluation Norman Wagner and Stefan Lötters found that herbicide formulations containing tallowamine surfactants, ranked among the most harmful ones to different amphibians species.
They cannot name a risk per se for all amphibian populations through glyphosate herbicides, as reported reactions highly depend on the amphibian species, the life-stage, the formulation of the herbicide and its application. Should glyphosate resistant GM crops be approved for cultivation in the EU, the experts recommend at least to monitor possible impacts on nearby amphibian populations. The review was commissioned by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation. It evaluates more than 150 studies and collates a range of data.
It is available for download as BfN-Skripten 343 “Possible correlation of the worldwide amphibian decline and the increasing use of glyphosate in the agrarian industry” at http://www.bfn.de/fileadmin/MDB/documents/service/skript_343.pdf
Franz August Emde | BfN Bundesamt für Naturschutz
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