GM Free Cymru

Gene expression analysis confirms findings of Seralini study

Date Added to website 27th August 2015

Gene expression analysis confirms findings of Seralini study

Breaking News.
It's not so long ago that the GMO rottweilers were let loose on the long-term animal feeding study by Seralini (2012) which found toxic effects associated with a GMO maize and with the Roundup that went with it. In the midst of a carefully manufactured furore, FCT journal was pressurized into retracting the paper on the most spurious of grounds, following which it was eventually republished in 2014. The scandal surrounding the paper retraction is still referred to as "The Seralini Affair" although it should really have been called "The Goodman Affair" since Richard Goodman was the GMO industry placement parachuted in for the destruction of Seralini's reputation.
This is the paper by Seralini et al:
Séralini G-E, Clair E, Mesnage R, Gress S, Defarge N, Malatesta M, et al. Republished study: long-term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Environ Sci Eur. 2014; 26:14.
A new paper, using a completely different set of techniques and methods of statistical analyses, has now taken the suggestions of kidney and liver damage published by the Seralini team and fas confirmed that they are correct.
We now eagerly await the abject apologies of all those "experts" to tried to tear the Seralini study to shreds. It would also be good for that FCT study to be re-instated, with a full apology from the publishers.

Extract from discussion: "...Our results confirm the increased incidence of liver and kidney pathologies de- scribed at an anatomorphological and blood/urine bio- chemical level in female rats administered with Roundup in drinking water at a regulatory admissible, ultra-low dose 50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent concentration [17]. The levels of glyphosate consumption were approximately 4 ng/kg bw/day, which are well below global ADI values. We observed a wide-scale, treatment-associated alteration in gene expression patterns at a high statistical significance in both the liver and kidneys...."

Extract from discussion: "....The increased incidence of Roundup-associated liver and kidney pathologies [17] confirmed in this report may be arising from multiple sources as there is increasing evidence to suggest that GBH and glyphosate can bring about toxic effects via different mechanisms depending upon the level of exposure."

Extract from Conclusions: "....The results of the study presented here indicate that consumption of far lower levels of a GBH formulation, at admissible glyphosate-equivalent concentrations, are associated with wide-scale alterations of the liver and kidney transcriptome that correlate with the observed signs of hep- atic and kidney anatomorphological and biochemical pathological changes in these organs [17]. In addition, as the dose of Roundup we investigated is environmentally relevant in terms of human [4], domesticated ani- mals [12] and wildlife [34, 44] levels of exposure, our results potentially have significant health implications for animal and human populations."


From GM Watch:
Gene expression analysis confirms Roundup causes liver and kidney damage at very low doses

Authors conclude “significant health implications for animal and human populations”

Roundup at extremely low doses within the levels permitted in drinking water in the EU can damage the liver and kidneys of rats, according to a new peer-reviewed study led by Dr Michael Antoniou at King's College London. Alterations in gene function were found that reflected diseases such as fibrosis (scarring), necrosis (areas of dead tissue), phospholipidosis (disturbed fat metabolism), and damage to mitochondria (the centres of respiration in cells).

In the new study, the researchers analysed the gene expression profiles of liver and kidney tissues from the Roundup-treated rats in the long-term rat feeding study led by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini at the University of Caen, France. The gene expression changes seen in the new analysis confirmed the liver and kidney pathologies suggested by the anatomical and biochemical (blood and urine) findings in the Séralini study.

The dose of the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup administered in this study was equivalent to half the level of pure glyphosate permitted in drinking water in the EU and Australia, and 14,000 times lower than the level permitted in drinking water in the USA. This is not to say that these levels are actually found in drinking water; surveys would need to be carried out to see how common glyphosate contamination is.

The authors of the new analysis concluded that long-term exposure to Roundup in an established laboratory animal toxicity model at an ultra-low, environmentally relevant dose “can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations”.

Lead author Dr Michael Antoniou said: “The findings of our study are very worrying as they confirm that a very low level of comsumption of Roundup weedkiller over the long term can result in liver and kidney damage. Our results also suggest that regulators should re-consider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides.”

Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure

Robin Mesnage, Matthew Arno, Manuela Costanzo, Manuela Malatesta, Gilles-Eric Séralini and Michael N. Antoniou
Environmental Health (2015) 14:70 (open access)


Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are the major pesticides used worldwide. Converging evidence suggests that GBH, such as Roundup, pose a particular health risk to liver and kidneys although low environmentally relevant doses have not been examined. To address this issue, a 2-year study in rats administering 0.1 ppb Roundup (50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent) via drinking water (giving a daily intake of 4 ng/kg bw/day of glyphosate) was conducted. A marked increased incidence of anatomorphological and blood/urine biochemical changes was indicative of liver and kidney structure and functional pathology. In order to confirm these findings we have conducted a transcriptome microarray analysis of the liver and kidneys from these same animals.

The expression of 4224 and 4447 transcript clusters (a group of probes corresponding to a known or putative gene) were found to be altered respectively in liver and kidney (p<0.01, q< 0.08). Changes in gene expression varied from −3.5 to 3.7 fold in liver and from −4.3 to 5.3 in kidneys. Among the 1319 transcript clusters whose expression was altered in both tissues, ontological enrichment in 3 functional categories among 868 genes were found. First, genes involved in mRNA splicing and small nucleolar RNA were mostly upregulated, suggesting disruption of normal spliceosome activity. Electron microscopic analysis of hepatocytes confirmed nucleolar structural disruption. Second, genes controlling chromatin structure (especially histone-lysine N-methyltransferases) were mostly upregulated. Third, genes related to respiratory chain complex I and the tricarboxylic acid cycle were mostly downregulated. Pathway analysis suggests a modulation of the mTOR and phosphatidylinositol signalling pathways. Gene disturbances associated with the chronic administration of ultra-low dose Roundup reflect a liver and kidney lipotoxic condition and increased cellular growth that may be linked with regeneration in response to toxic effects causing damage to tissues. Observed alterations in gene expression were consistent with fibrosis, necrosis, phospholipidosis, mitochondrial membrane dysfunction and ischemia, which correlate with and thus confirm observations of pathology made at an anatomical, histological and biochemical level.

Our results suggest that chronic exposure to a GBH in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations.