Skip to content

Monday's papers: First gay couples adopt, medical stockpiling law, Roundup risks confirmed

Papers report on same-sex adoption, rules for med supplies and a Finnish study with new dirt on the weed-killer Roundup.

Mies pitelee sateenkaarilippua.
Gay couples have adopted children in Finland for the first time. Image: Lucas Coch / EPA
Yle News

The first official cases of homosexual couples adopting children have been confirmed in Finland, tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) reports on Monday.

LGBTQ organisation Sateenkaariperheet ry (siirryt toiseen palveluun) ("Rainbow families") announced Monday that one male and one female couple had each successfully adopted infants. Both couples are from Helsinki.

"Adoption is especially significant for gay male couples, a new way into parenthood," Sateenkaariperheet executive director Juha Jämsä said in IS.

He added that male couples have previously had extremely limited options for starting a family. Adoption is likely to become the most common way for same-sex male couples to have children, along with foster parenting, Jämsä added.

Outdated stockpiling laws

Back in news related to Covid-19, the Association of Finnish Municipalities (AFM) came out on Monday to say that national laws regulating the maintenance and planning of medical resource stockpiles are in need of a brisk reform.

AFM administrative medical director Päivi Koivuranta said in local daily Kaleva (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that the law should not waste resources on bureaucracy and highly detailed equipment lists, since their use skyrockets in the event of a pandemic.

Most importantly, Koivuranta said, companies and municipalities need clearer rules on how to split the costs.

"Preparing contingency stockpiles should be considered when municipalities are purchasing services from private health companies. If the private sector is unable to acquire face masks, for instance, delivering them could become a municipal responsibility."

Finland's current stockpiles are based on a pandemic preparedness scheme from 2012, which mandates that medical facilities must have a reserve of three to six months' worth of equipment to hand.

Koivuranta said in Kaleva that this plan is designed to respond to an influenza pandemic — a far cry from novel coronavirus, as there are effective treatments and vaccines for influenza.

Study: Glyphosate harms animals

Helsingin Sanomat reports that a recent study from the University of Turku (siirryt toiseen palveluun) found that the herbicide glyphosate, found in products such as the weed-killer Roundup, adversely affected the biological functions of the common quail (Coturnix coturnix) and the seeds of farmed crops.

Seeds sprouted less successfully when exposed to the chemical, and glyphosate was found to build up in the organs of the birds, Helsingin Sanomat reported (siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Glyphosate is one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, including in Finland.

Biologist Marjo Helander from Turku University said in HS that extremely few peer-reviewed studies have been conducted on glyphosate.

"It was shocking that we found glyphosate in the eggs, liver, and even the muscles of the quails we tested," Helander said. "They excreted most of it from their systems. Fertilizer from fowl is how the chemical remains in our soil."

Helander said this research was the first of its kind: a year-long study of the effects of glyphosate on a vertebrate. The prior, now falsified belief has been that Roundup is dangerous only to green plants, and not to animals at all.

"I am a biologist, not a doctor, so I can't speak to the cancer risk," Helander said. "We know glyphosate affects the microbiomes of animals. We do not know exactly how."

However, she has clear advice for people who use Roundup in their gardens.

"It's not good stuff for you or your pets. You can get rid of your weeds by hand, or let them grow."

Latest: paketissa on 10 artikkelia