GM Free Cymru

Seralini vindicated: new Roundup study shows liver and kidney damage at very low doses

Date Added to website 31st August 2015

Seralini vindicated: new Roundup study shows liver and kidney damage at very low doses

Press Notice
27 August 2015
Immediate release

Seralini vindicated: new Roundup study shows liver and kidney damage at very low doses

The toxicity of glyphosate-based "Roundup" herbicide has been confirmed in spectacular fashion by a new peer-reviewed study published today in the journal "Environmental Health" (1).

A group led by Dr Michael Antoniou of Kings College London has analysed the gene expression profiles of liver and kidney tissues from the Roundup-treated rats in the 2012 long-term rat feeding study reported by Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini and colleagues (2). The gene expression changes seen in the new analyses were wide-scale and treatment-related at a high level of statistical significance in both the liver and kidneys. The recorded alterations in gene function are associated with diseases such as fibrosis (scarring), necrosis (areas of dead tissue), phospholipidosis (disturbed fat metabolism), and damage to mitochondria (the centres of respiration in cells). Essentially, the work validates the organ pathologies suggested by the anatomical and biochemical (blood and urine) findings in the Séralini study.

The dose of 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. The authors are confident that the dose given to the laboratory rats was "environmentally relevant' with respect to humans, domesticated animals and wildlife. So it is now apparent that Roundup at extremely low doses within the levels permitted in drinking water in the EU can damage the liver and kidneys of rats, and that there are significant health implications for humans as well. Lead author Dr Michael Antoniou said: “The findings of our study are very worrying as they confirm that a very low level of consumption 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.”

Seralini vindicated

When Prof Seralini and his team reported in 2012 that there were negative health effects in rats exposed to low levels of Roundup in their diets in the first-ever long-term feeding trial (2), they deserved respect and even congratulations. instead, they were subjected to a highly orchestrated campaign of vilification which involved sections of the UK science establishment and even the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) (3). The critics of the paper attacked it on the most spurious of grounds, although it was apparent that all were driven by an almost religious conviction that Roundup could not possibly be harmful at very low exposures. This was very strange, given that Roundup has for many years been marketed as "The Ultimate Killing Machine." In any case, the paper was retracted in 2013. Hundreds of independent scientists leaped to the defence of the Seralini team (4), and the authors of the retracted / republished paper mounted a feisty defence in which they exposed the scientific limitations of many of their critics. The paper was republished in another journal in 2014. Nonetheless, it was not taken as seriously as it should have been, since its critics achieved their desired objective of convincing the media and the regulators that it was somehow unreliable or inconclusive.

Speaking for GM-Free Cymru, Dr Brian John said: "As a result of the antics of the GM industry and its acolytes, a highly significant study which should have led to the banning of Roundup and a complete reassessment of the safety of GMO crops and foods has been largely ignored. For three years the toxic materials identified have continued to flow into the food supply without any restraint from the regulators in Europe and elsewhere. It now turns out that the findings of the Seralini team were correct, and that they are entirely in tune with the findings of the IARC relating to the carcinogenic effects of glyphosate (5) and with the findings of many recent peer-reviewed papers (6). In our view FCT journal should acknowledge its mistake in retracting the 2012 paper, issue a full apology to the authors, and reinstate it. We would also like to see apologies from all those who were involved in the campaign of vilification against the Seralini team, and an acceptance that the research results published were both reliable and significant. Most of all, for the sake of public health, Roundup must be banned immediately."


Dr Brian John
GM-Free Cymru
Tel: 01239-820470


(1) "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)

(2) 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.
This study was originally published in the journal "Food and Chemical Toxicology" in 2012. In the midst of a carefully manufactured furore, FCT journal was pressurized into retracting the paper in 2013 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.

(3) Revealed: how EFSA staff orchestrated "official" rebuttals of Seralini research
EFSA -- hypocrisy, double standards and dodgy dealing on Seralini paper