The Journal of Biological Physics and Chemistry



Volume 15, Number 3, pp. 111–119





Why glyphosate is not the issue with Roundup
A short overview of 30 years of our research

Gilles-Eric Séralini

Institute of Biology and EA2608, Network on Risks, Quality and Sustainable Environment MRSH, University of Caen Normandy, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen Cedex, France

Roundup and other glyphosate-based herbicides are the most widely used pesticides in the world; their residues are among the main pollutants in surface waters. Their use has increased through the spraying of 80% of edible agricultural GMOs, which also contain high levels of their residues. They are composed of glyphosate (35–40% in general) and adjuvants that are around 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone, and are also endocrine disruptors below toxic thresholds. All endocrine disruptors (ED) are also nervous system disruptors (ND), because they act as “spam” for cell–cell communication, in the sense that they are spurious messages (or molecules) sent to a group of organisms or cells, impeding and slowing down, and in some cases accelerating, the physiological communication system. Therefore, they should be called ENDs (endocrine and nervous system disruptors). From 0.1 ppb in chronic tests in vivo, Roundup is highly tumorigenic, provoking hormone-dependent tumours, other hormonal imbalances, and important liver and kidney toxicities. Pesticide adjuvants play the same role in other pesticide formulations. The declared active principles often appear to be by far the least toxic compounds after water in formulations. Unfortunately for public health, they are the only substances tested by companies for regulatory purposes over the long term in vivo. Thus, the acceptable daily intakes deduced from these tests are 1000–10 000 times too high. In regulatory tests the deleterious effects in rats are compared with historical data on rat pathologies. Analysis of laboratory rodent feeds sourced from five continents reveals that they are so contaminated by pollutants that comparison to these hence inappropriate controls generally masks the chronic pathologies provoked by the pesticides and other chemicals tested. The disputes with industry representatives and lobby groups that arose in the course of this research are also summarized in this short review. Finally, potential methods of improving transparency and advancing scientific knowledge are recommended.

Keywords: adjuvants, endocrine and nervous disruptors, glyphosate-based herbicides, GMOs, pesticides, xenobiotics


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