Here are some of the most compelling peer-reviewed studies to come to the forefront in recent months.

Published March 24, 2015

Sublethal Exposure to Commercial Formulations of the Herbicides Dicamba, 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic Acid, and Glyphosate Cause Changes in Antibiotic Susceptibility in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium

  1. Brigitta Kurenbacha,Delphine Marjoshia,Carlos F. Amábile-Cuevasb,Gayle C. FergusoncWilliam Godsoed,Paddy Gibsona,Jack A. Heinemanna

Author Affiliations

  1. aSchool of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
  2. bFundación Lusara, Mexico City, Mexico
  3. cInstitute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
  4. dBio-Protection Centre, Lincoln University, Lincoln, New Zealand


Biocides, such as herbicides, are routinely tested for toxicity but not for sublethal effects on microbes. Many biocides are known to induce an adaptive multiple-antibiotic resistance phenotype. This can be due to either an increase in the expression of efflux pumps, a reduced synthesis of outer membrane porins, or both. Exposures of Escherichia coli andSalmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium to commercial formulations of three herbicides—dicamba (Kamba), 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D), and glyphosate (Roundup)—were found to induce a changed response to antibiotics. Killing curves in the presence and absence of sublethal herbicide concentrations showed that the directions and the magnitudes of responses varied by herbicide, antibiotic, and species. When induced, MICs of antibiotics of five different classes changed up to 6-fold. In some cases the MIC increased, and in others it decreased. Herbicide concentrations needed to invoke the maximal response were above current food maximum residue levels but within application levels for all herbicides. Compounds that could cause induction had additive effects in combination. The role of soxS, an inducer of the AcrAB efflux pump, was tested in β-galactosidase assays with soxS-lacZ fusion strains of E. coli. Dicamba was a moderate inducer of the sox regulon. Growth assays with Phe-Arg β-naphtylamide (PAβN), an efflux pump inhibitor, confirmed a significant role of efflux in the increased tolerance of E. coli to chloramphenicol in the presence of dicamba and to kanamycin in the presence of glyphosate. Pathways of exposure with relevance to the health of humans, domestic animals, and critical insects are discussed.


Increasingly common chemicals used in agriculture, domestic gardens, and public places can induce a multiple-antibiotic resistance phenotype in potential pathogens. The effect occurs upon simultaneous exposure to antibiotics and is faster than the lethal effect of antibiotics. The magnitude of the induced response may undermine antibiotic therapy and substantially increase the probability of spontaneous mutation to higher levels of resistance. The combination of high use of both herbicides and antibiotics in proximity to farm animals and important insects, such as honeybees, might also compromise their therapeutic effects and drive greater use of antibiotics. To address the crisis of antibiotic resistance requires broadening our view of environmental contributors to the evolution of resistance.


  • Citation Kurenbach B, Marjoshi D, Amábile-Cuevas CF, Ferguson GC, Godsoe W, Gibson P, Heinemann JA. 2015. Sublethal exposure to commercial formulations of the herbicides dicamba, 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, and glyphosate cause changes in antibiotic susceptibility in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium. mBio 6(2):e00009-15. doi:10.1128/mBio.00009-15.

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published March 17, 2015

Carcinogenicity of tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate

Kathryn Z Guyton, Dana Loomis, Yann Grosse, Fatiha El Ghissassi, Lamia Benbrahim-Tallaa, Neela Guha,

Abstract:  In March, 2015, 17 experts from 11 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC; Lyon, France) to assess the carcinogenicity of the organophosphate pesticides tetrachlorvinphos, parathion, malathion, diazinon, and glyphosate (table). These assessments will be published as volume 112 of the IARC Monographs 

Scientific Study Research Paper:


Published November 19, 2014:
Survey of Glyphosate Residues in Honey, Corn and Soy Products

Samples of honey (sixty nine), pancake and corn syrup (twenty six), soy sauce (twenty eight), soy milk (eleven), and tofu (twenty) purchased in the Philadelphia, US metropolitan area were analyzed for glyphosate residue using ELISA. The limit of quantification (LOQ) and range of the method were determined for honey, pancake syrup, and corn syrup to be 15 to 800 ppb; soy sauce, soy milk, and tofu 75 to 4,000 ppb. Glyphosate residues above the limit of quantification were not found in pancake and corn syrup, soy milk, and tofu. Of the sixty-nine honey samples analyzed, forty-one samples, or fifty-nine percent (59%), had glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (15 ppb), with a concentration range between 17 and 163 ppb and a mean of 64 ppb. Eleven of the tested honey samples were organic; five of the organic honey samples, or forty-five percent (45%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 26 to 93 ppb and a mean of 50 ppb. Of the fifty-eight non-organic honey samples, thirty-six samples, or sixty-two percent (62%), contained glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ, with a range of 17 to 163 ppb and a mean of 66 ppb. In addition to comparison of production method (organic vs. conventional), the honey results were evaluated according to pollen source and by country of origin, grouped by GMO usage (prohibited, limited, or permitted). Glyphosate concentrations above the method LOQ (75 ppb) were also found in ten of the twenty-eight soy sauce samples evaluated (36%), with a concentration range between 88 and 564 ppb and a mean of 242 ppb; all organic soy sauce samples tested were below the method LOQ.

Fernando Rubio (1)*, Emily Guo(2) and Lisa Kamp(1)

(1) Abraxis, LLC, 54 Steam whistle Drive, Warminster, PA 18974, USA
(2) Boston University, 273 Babcock Street, Boston, MA 02446, USA

Corresponding Author : Abraxis
LLC, 54 Steam whistle Drive
Warminster, PA 18974, USA
Tel: (215) 357-3911
Fax: (215) 357-5232

Received October 02, 2014; Accepted November 13, 2014; Published November 19, 2014

Citation: Rubio F, Guo E, Kamp L (2014) Survey of Glyphosate Residues in Honey, Corn and Soy Products. J Environ Anal Toxicol 5:249. doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.1000249

Copyright: © 2014 Rubio F, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published 26 February 2014:
Major Pesticides Are More Toxic to Human Cells Than Their Declared Active Principles

Pesticides are used throughout the world as mixtures called formulations. They contain adjuvants, which are often kept confidential and are called inerts by the manufacturing companies, plus a declared active principle, which is usually tested alone. We tested the toxicity of 9 pesticides, comparing active principles and their formulations, on three human cell lines (HepG2, HEK293, and JEG3). Glyphosate, isoproturon, fluroxypyr, pirimicarb, imidacloprid, acetamiprid, tebuconazole, epoxiconazole, and prochloraz constitute, respectively, the active principles of 3 major herbicides, 3 insecticides, and 3 fungicides. We measured mitochondrial activities, membrane degradations, and caspases 3/7 activities. Fungicides were the most toxic from concentrations 300–600 times lower than agricultural dilutions, followed by herbicides and then insecticides, with very similar profiles in all cell types. Despite its relatively benign reputation, Roundup was among the most toxic herbicides and insecticides tested. Most importantly, 8 formulations out of 9 were up to one thousand times more toxic than their active principles. Our results challenge the relevance of the acceptable daily intake for pesticides because this norm is calculated from the toxicity of the active principle alone. Chronic tests on pesticides may not reflect relevant environmental exposures if only one ingredient of these mixtures is tested alone.

Robin Mesnage,1 Nicolas Defarge,1 Joël Spiroux de Vendômois,2 and Gilles-Eric Séralini1

1University of Caen, Institute of Biology, CRIIGEN and Network on Risks, Quality and Sustainable Environment MRSH-CNRS, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen Cedex, France
2CRIIGEN, 40 rue Monceau, 75008 Paris, France

Received 28 October 2013; Accepted 11 December 2013; Published 26 February 2014

Academic Editor: Bruno C. Cavalcanti

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published 20 February 2014:
Glyphosate, Hard Water and Nephrotoxic Metals: Are They the Culprits Behind the Epidemic of Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology in Sri Lanka?

The current chronic kidney disease epidemic, the major health issue in the rice paddy farming areas in Sri Lanka has been the subject of many scientific and political debates over the last decade. Although there is no agreement among scientists about the etiology of the disease, a majority of them has concluded that this is a toxic nephropathy. None of the hypotheses put forward so far could explain coherently the totality of clinical, biochemical, histopathological findings, and the unique geographical distribution of the disease and its appearance in the mid-1990s. A strong association between the consumption of hard water and the occurrence of this special kidney disease has been observed, but the relationship has not been explained consistently. Here, we have hypothesized the association of using glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the disease endemic area and its unique metal chelating properties. The possible role played by glyphosate-metal complexes in this epidemic has not been given any serious consideration by investigators for the last two decades. Furthermore, it may explain similar kidney disease epidemics observed in Andra Pradesh (India) and Central America. Although glyphosate alone does not cause an epidemic of chronic kidney disease, it seems to have acquired the ability to destroy the renal tissues of thousands of farmers when it forms complexes with a localized geo environmental factor (hardness) and nephrotoxic metals.

Channa Jayasumana, Sarath Gunatilake and Priyantha Senanayake 
1 Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Rajarata University, Anuradhapura 50008, Sri Lanka2 Health Science Department, California State University, Long Beach, CA 90840, USA3 Hela Suwaya Organization, Malabe 10115, Sri Lanka These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2013; in revised form: 22 January 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2014 / Published: 20 February 2014
Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published 16 January 2014:
Glyphosate Commercial Formulation Causes Cytotoxicity, Oxidative Effects, and Apoptosis on Human Cells: Differences With its Active Ingredient.

In the present study, the effects on oxidative balance and cellular end points of glyphosate, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA), and a glyphosate formulation (G formulation) were examined in HepG2 cell line, at dilution levels far below agricultural recommendations. Our results show that G formulation had toxic effects while no effects were found with acid glyphosate and AMPA treatments. Glyphosate formulation exposure produced an increase in reactive oxygen species, nitrotyrosine formation, superoxide dismutase activity, and glutathione (GSH) levels, while no effects were observed for catalase and GSH-S-transferase activities. Also, G formulation triggered caspase 3/7 activation and hence induced apoptosis pathway in this cell line. Aminomethylphosphonic acid exposure produced an increase in GSH levels while no differences were observed in other antioxidant parameters. No effects were observed when the cells were exposed to acid glyphosate. These results confirm that G formulations have adjuvants working together with the active ingredient and causing toxic effects that are not seen with acid glyphosate.

Chaufan G, Coalova I, Molina MD.

1) Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina. IQUIBICEN-CONICET.
2) Gabriela Chaufan, Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad de Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Ciudad Universitaria, 2 Pabellón, 4 piso, Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, CP 1428, Argentina.

International Journal of Toxicology 1091581813517906, first published on January 16, 2014

Clarification of above terms:

  1. Apoptosis (/ˌæpəˈtoʊsɪs/ or /ˌeɪpɔːpˈtoʊsɪs/)[2][3] is the process of programmed cell death.  Wikipedia
  2. Hep G2 is a human liver carcinoma cell line HepG2 cells are a suitable in vitro model system for the study of polarized human hepatocytes.  Wikipedia,
  3. Aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) is a weak organic acid with a phosphonic acid group. It is one of the primary degradation products of the herbicide glyphosate.[1] AMPA has low toxicity which is comparable to that of glyphosate and it is therefore considered to be of no greater toxicological concern than glyphosate itself.[2]
Statement from above abstract: “These results confirm that G formulations  have adjuvants working together with the active ingredient and causing toxic effects that are not seen with acid glyphosate” (alone), ie, Roundup formulation is far more toxic than just glyphosate.Note: Lettuce, carrots, and barley contained glyphosate residues up to one year after the soil was treated with 3.71 pounds of glyphosate per acre.  61,62 National Pesticide Information Center.

Rye and other non-GMO, conventional crops are often sprayed with Roundup to kill them forcing rapid seed production just prior to harvest.  Therefore Roundup residue is still on and in the grain.

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published Online 18 December 2013:
Compositional differences in soybeans on the market: Glyphosate accumulates in Roundup Ready GM soybeans

This article describes the nutrient and elemental composition, including residues of herbicides and pesticides, of 31 soybean batches from Iowa, USA. The soy samples were grouped into three different categories: (i) genetically modified, glyphosate-tolerant soy (GM-soy); (ii) unmodified soy cultivated using a conventional “chemical” cultivation regime; and (iii) unmodified soy cultivated using an organic cultivation regime. Organic soybeans showed the healthiest nutritional profile with more sugars, such as glucose, fructose, sucrose and maltose, significantly more total protein, zinc and less fibre than both conventional and GM-soy. Organic soybeans also contained less total saturated fat and total omega-6 fatty acids than both conventional and GM-soy. GM-soy contained high residues of glyphosate and AMPA (mean 3.3 and 5.7 mg/kg, respectively). Conventional and organic soybean batches contained none of these agrochemicals. Using 35 different nutritional and elemental variables to characterise each soy sample, we were able to discriminate GM, conventional and organic soybeans without exception, demonstrating “substantial non-equivalence” in compositional characteristics for ‘ready-to-market’ soybeans.

T. Bøhn, M. Cuhraa, T. Traavika, M. Sandenc, J. Fagand, R. Primiceriob

1) GenØk, Centre for Biosafety, P.O. Box 6418, 9294 Tromsø, Norway
2) Faculty of Health Sciences, UIT The Arctic University of Norway, 9019 Tromsø, Norway
3) National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research, NIFES, P.O. Box 2029, 5817 Bergen, Norway
4) Earth Open Source, 2nd Floor 145–157, St. John Street, London EC1V 4PY, United Kingdom

Received 3 July 2013, Revised 7 November 2013, Accepted 11 December 2013, Available online 18 December 2013

Summary of the findings:
• Glyphosate tolerant GM soybeans contain high residues of glyphosate and AMPA.
• Soybeans from different agricultural practices differ in nutritional quality.
• Organic soybeans showed a more healthy nutritional profile than other soybeans.
• Organic soy contained more sugars, protein and zinc, but less fibre and omega-6.
• This study rejects that GM soy is “substantially equivalent” to non-GM soybeans.

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Accepted For Publication 12 November 2013:
Glyphosate, pathways to modern diseases II: Celiac sprue and gluten intolerance

Celiac disease, and, more generally, gluten intolerance, is a growing problem worldwide, but especially in North America and Europe, where an estimated 5% of the population now suffers from it. Symptoms include nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression. It is a multifactorial disease associated with numerous nutritional deficiencies as well as reproductive issues and increased risk to thyroid disease, kidney failure, and cancer. Here, we propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic. Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper, and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine, and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids. Celiac disease patients have an increased risk to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which has also been implicated in glyphosate exposure. Reproductive issues associated with celiac disease, such as infertility, miscarriages, and birth defects, can also be explained by glyphosate. Glyphosate residues in wheat and other crops are likely increasing recently due to the growing practice of crop desiccation just prior to the harvest. We argue that the practice of “ripening” sugar cane with glyphosate may explain the recent surge in kidney failure among agricultural workers in Central America. We conclude with a plea to governments to reconsider policies regarding the safety of glyphosate residues in foods.

Anthony SAMSEL 1 and Stephanie SENEFF 2
1 Independent Scientist and Consultant, Deerfield, NH 03037, USA
2 Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT, Cambridge, MA, USA

ITX060413R01 • Received: 24 September 2013 • Revised: 10 November 2013 • Accepted: 12 November 2013

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published Online 14 June 2013:
Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest

An agroecosystem is constrained by environmental possibility and social choices, mainly in the form of government policies. To be sustainable, an agroecosystem requires production systems that are resilient to natural stressors such as disease, pests, drought, wind and salinity, and to human constructed stressors such as economic cycles and trade barriers. The world is becoming increasingly reliant on concentrated exporting agroecosystems for staple crops, and vulnerable to national and local decisions that affect resilience of these production systems. We chronicle the history of the United States staple crop agroecosystem of the Midwest region to determine whether sustainability is part of its design, or could be a likely outcome of existing policies particularly on innovation and intellectual property. Relative to other food secure and exporting countries (e.g. Western Europe), the US agroecosystem is not exceptional in yields or conservative on environmental impact. This has not been a trade-off for sustainability, as annual fluctuations in maize yield alone dwarf the loss of caloric energy from extreme historic blights. We suggest strategies for innovation that are responsive to more stakeholders and build resilience into industrialized staple crop production.

Jack A. Heinemannab*, Melanie Massarobc, Dorien S. Corayab, Sarah Zanon Agapito-Tenfenbd & Jiajun Dale Wene

Published online: 14 Jun 2013

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published 11 June 2013:
A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet, associated with weight gain & severe stomach inflammation

A significant number of genetically modified (GM) crops have been approved to enter human food and animal feed since 1996, including crops containing several GM genes ‘stacked’ into the one plant. We randomised and fed isowean pigs (N=168) either a mixed GM soy and GM corn (maize) diet (N=84) or an equivalent non-GM diet (N=84) in a longterm toxicology study of 22.7 weeks (the normal lifespan of a commercial pig from weaning to slaughter). Equal numbers of male and female pigs were present in each group. The GM corn contained double and triple-stacked varieties. Feed intake, weight gain, mortality and blood biochemistry were measured. Organ weights and pathology were determined post-mortem. There were no differences between pigs fed the GM and non-GM diets for feed intake, weight gain, mortality, and routine blood biochemistry measurements. The GM diet was associated with gastric and uterine differences in pigs. GM-fed pigs had uteri that were 25% heavier than non-GM fed pigs (p=0.025). GM-fed pigs had a higher rate of severe stomach inflammation with a rate of 32% of GM-fed pigs compared to 12% of non-GM-fed pigs (p=0.004). The severe stomach inflammation was worse in GM-fed males compared to non-GM fed males by a factor of 4.0 (p=0.041), and GM-fed females compared to non-GM fed females by a factor of 2.2 (p=0.034).

A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a mixed GM diet. Adverse effects of GM crops found.

By Dr. Judy Carman 11 June 2013

Scientific Study Research Paper: or for other research papers.



Published 18 April 2013:
Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases, Enhances Damaging Effects of Environmental Toxins

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, is the most popular herbicide used worldwide. The industry asserts it is minimally toxic to humans, but here we argue otherwise. Residues are found in the main foods of the Western diet, comprised primarily of sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate’s inhibition of cytochrome P450 (CYP) enzymes is an overlooked component of its toxicity to mammals. CYP enzymes play crucial roles in biology, one of which is to detoxify xenobiotics. Thus, glyphosate enhances the damaging effects of other food borne chemical residues and environmental toxins. Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time as inflammation damages cellular systems throughout the body. Here, we show how interference with CYP enzymes acts synergistically with disruption of the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids by gut bacteria, as well as impairment in serum sulfate transport. Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. We explain the documented effects of glyphosate and its ability to induce disease, and we show that glyphosate is the “textbook example” of exogenous semiotic entropy: the disruption of homeostasis by environmental toxins.

Independent Scientist and Consultant, Deerfield, NH 03037, USA
Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, MIT, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Received: 15 January 2013; in revised form: 10 April 2013 / Accepted: 10 April 2013 / Published: 18 April 2013
Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published Online 19 September 2012:
Seralini Study-Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize.

Séralini’s 2012 study tested the long-term effects of Monsanto’s GM NK603 maize, which is engineered to survive being sprayed with Roundup herbicide, and Roundup.

The health effects of a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize (from 11% in the diet), cultivated with or without Roundup, and Roundup alone (from 0.1 ppb in water), were studied 2 years in rats. In females, all treated groups died 2-3 times more than controls, and more rapidly. This difference was visible in 3 male groups fed GMOs. All results were hormone and sex dependent, and the pathological profiles were comparable. Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than and before controls, the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments. In treated males, liver congestions and necrosis were 2.5-5.5 times higher. This pathology was confirmed by optic and transmission electron microscopy. Marked and severe kidney nephropathies were also generally 1.3-2.3 greater. Males presented 4 times more large palpable tumors than controls which occurred up to 600 days earlier. Biochemistry data confirmed very significant kidney chronic deficiencies; for all treatments and both sexes, 76% of the altered parameters were kidney related. These results can be explained by the non linear endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup, but also by the overexpression of the transgene in the GMO and its metabolic consequences.

1) Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnagea, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defargea, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequinc,  Joël Spiroux de Vendômois
2) University of Caen, Institute of Biology, CRIIGEN and Risk Pole, MRSH-CNRS, EA 2608, Esplanade de la Paix, Caen Cedex 14032, France
3) University of Verona, Department of Neurological, Neuropsychological, Morphological and Motor Sciences, Verona 37134, Italy
4) University of Caen, UR ABTE, EA 4651, Bd Maréchal Juin, Caen Cedex 14032, France

Received 11 April 2012, Accepted 2 August 2012, Available online 19 September 2012

Summary of the findings:

  • Escalation of signs of liver and kidney toxicity found in Monsanto 90-day feeding trial (Hammond, B., et al. (2004). Results of a 13 week safety assurance study with rats fed grain from glyphosate tolerant corn. Food Chem Toxicol 42(6): 1003-1014), leading to liver / kidney failure and premature death, especially in males
  • Unexpected increase in tumor incidence, especially via Roundup in females (mammary tumors)
  • Unexpected low dose toxicity from Roundup (10,000 times lower than that permitted in drinking water in USA)
  • Females: died prematurely from mammary tumors and pituitary dysfunction.

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Published 18 February 2011
Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Pesticides associated to genetically modified foods (PAGMF), are engineered to tolerate herbicides such as glyphosate (GLYP) and gluphosinate (GLUF) or insecticides such as the bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between maternal and fetal exposure, and to determine exposure levels of GLYP and its metabolite aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), GLUF and its metabolite 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid (3-MPPA) and Cry1Ab protein (a Bt toxin) in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Blood of thirty pregnant women (PW) and thirty-nine nonpregnant women (NPW) were studied. Serum GLYP and GLUF were detected in NPW and not detected in PW. Serum 3-MPPA and CryAb1 toxin were detected in PW, their fetuses and NPW. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities.

Aris, Leblanc S.
1. Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Sherbrooke Hospital Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. 

Reprod Toxicol. 2011 May;31(4):528-33. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Feb 18.

Scientific Study Research Abstract



Accepted For Publication 10 February 2009:
Clastogenic Effects of Glyphosate in Bone Marrow Cells of Swiss Albino Mice

Glyphosate (N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine, C3, H 8, N O5, P), a herbicide, used to control unwanted annual and perennial plants all over the world. Nevertheless, occupational and environmental exposure to pesticides can pose a threat to nontarget species including human beings. Therefore, in the present study, genotoxic effects of the herbicide glyphosate were analyzed by measuring chromosomal aberrations (CAs) and micronuclei (MN) in bone marrow cells of Swiss albino mice. A single dose of glyphosate was given intraperitoneally (i.p) to the animals at a concentration of 25 and 50 mg/kg b.wt. Animals of positive control group were injected i.p. benzo(a)pyrene (100 mg/kg b.wt., once only), whereas, animals of control (vehicle) group were injected i.p. dimethyl sulfoxide (0.2 mL). Animals from all the groups were sacrificed at sampling times of 24, 48, and 72 hours and their bone marrow was analyzed for cytogenetic and chromosomal damage. Glyphosate treatment significantly increases CAs and MN induction at both treatments and time compared with the vehicle control.

The cytotoxic effects of glyphosate were also evident, as observed by significant decrease in mitotic (cell division) index (MI). The present results indicate that glyphosate is clastogenic 1 and cytotoxic 2 to mouse bone marrow.

Academic Editor: Brad Upham

Proteomics Laboratory, Indian Institute of Toxicology Research, Mahatma Gandhi Marg, Lucknow 226001, India

Received 17 September 2008; Revised 22 December 2008; Accepted 10 February 2009

Clarification of above terms:

1. A clastogen in biology is a mutagenic agent giving rise to or inducing disruption or breakages of chromosomes, leading to sections of the chromosome being deleted, added, or rearranged.[1] This process is a form of mutagenesis, (mutation) and can lead to carcinogenesis, as cells that are not killed by the clastogenic effect may become cancerous. Exposure to clastogens increases frequency of abnormal germ cells in paternal males, contributing to developmental effects in the fetus upon fertilization.

2. Treating cells with the cytotoxic compound can result in a variety of cell fates. The cells may undergo necrosis ,(turn black) in which they lose membrane integrity and die rapidly as a result of cell lysis (meaning a rupture of the cell wall
or membrane, as in popping a balloon). The cells can stop actively growing and dividing (a decrease in cell viability [ability to thrive]), or the cells can activate a genetic program of controlled cell death (apoptosis).

Scientific Study Research Paper:



Published Online 8 February 2007:
Histological, digestive, metabolic, hormonal and some immune factor responses in Atlantic salmon, Salmo salar L., fed genetically modified soybeans.

The paper reports the second and final part of an experiment aiming to study physiological and health-related effects of genetically modified (GM) soybean meal (SBM) type Roundup Ready soybean (RRS) in diets for post-smolt Atlantic salmon. For 3 months salmon were fed diets containing 172 g kg(-1) full-fat SBM from RRS (GM-soy) or an unmodified, non-isogenic line (nGM-soy), or a reference diet with fishmeal as the sole protein source (FM). Slight differences in anti-nutrient levels were observed between the GM and nGM-soy. Histological changes were observed only in the distal intestine of the soy-fed fish. The incidence of moderate inflammation was higher in the GM-soy group (9 of 10 sampled fish) compared with the nGM-soy group (7 of 10). However, no differences in the concomitant decreases in activities of digestive enzymes located in the brush border (leucine aminopeptidase and maltase) and apical cytoplasm (acid phosphatase) of enterocytes or in the number of major histocompatibility complex class II+ cells, lysozyme activity, or total IgM of the distal intestine were observed. GM compared with nGM-soy fed fish had higher head kidney lysozyme (11,856 vs. 10,456 units g(-1) tissue) and a tendency towards higher acid phosphatase (0.45 vs. 0.39 micromol h(-1) kg(-1) body mass in whole tissue) activities, respectively. Plasma insulin and thyroxin levels, and hepatic fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase and ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase activities were not significantly affected. It is not possible, however, to conclude whether the differences in responses to GM-soy were due to the genetic modification or to differences in soy cultivars in the soy-containing diets. Results from studies using non-modified, parental line soybeans as the control group are necessary to evaluate whether genetic modification of soybeans in diets poses any risk to farmed Atlantic salmon.

A M Bakke-McKellep1,2, E O Koppang2, G Gunnes2, M Sanden3, G-I Hemre3, T Landsverk1,2, Å Krogdahl1,2

Article first published online: 8 FEB 2007

Scientific Study Research Paper: