Roundup exposure may affect human reproduction


A research group (CRIIGEN) at the University of Caen, France, has published a study on the previously unknown toxic effects of Roundup on human embryonic cells.
Roundup is the Monsanto-developed herbicide in use worldwide, including on GMOs for food and feed. Read the full report
Press Release CRIIGEN - May 2007: Effects of the herbicide Roundup on human embryonic cells
Professor Seralini's group (1), in the University of Caen, France, just published a study on the previously unknown toxic effects of Roundup on human embryonic cells.

Roundup is the major herbicide in use worldwide, including on GMOs for food and feed. The embryonic cells are from a line cultivated in the laboratory and their use does not necessitate embryo destruction. The group wanted to confirm and detail the understanding of the effects already observed on placental cells, as published by Seralini's group in 2005.

Following comparison, it appears that embryonic cells are far more sensitive. The deleterious results of Roundup are noticed at very week doses (the product sold in stores is diluted up to 10,000 times). Sensitivity is confirmed in particular for the disruption of sexual hormones at non toxic levels, especially on fresh placental extracts. The maximal active dilutions correspond to less than the residues in discussion to be authorized in GMO feed in the United States.

It is evidenced that the herbicide Roundup, as sold on the market, is far more toxic than the product which is known and approved to be its active ingredient: glyphosate. The gaps in European legislation to study the effects of mixtures and hormonal disruptions are underlined.

This work may be of help in better understating the problems of miscarriages, premature births or sexual malformations of babies, in particular in agricultural workers families.

The paper published on line first (1) on the website of the journal "Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology" directed by Dr. Doerge from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in USA, will appear in the July 2007 issue.

This work is funded by the Human Earth Foundation, the Denis Guichard Foundation, the CRIIGEN and the Regional Council of Basse-Normandie.

Contact : Pr Gilles-Eric Séralini, Biochemistry, Institute of Biology, University of Caen, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen, France.
Telephone: 33(0)2-31-56-56-84. Fax: 33(0)2-31- 56-53-20. Corinne Lepage President of CRIIGEN. E-mail: (1) Time and Dose-Dependent Effects of Roundup on Human Embryonic and Placental Cells by Nora Benachour, Herbert Sipahutar, Safa Moslemi, Celine Gasnier, Carine Travert, Gilles-Eric Seralini.
--- --- 2.Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

Time- and Dose-Dependent Effects of Roundup on Human Embryonic and
Placental Cells N. Benachour1, H. Sipahutar2, S. Moslemi3, C. Gasnier1, C. Travert1 and G. E. Seralini1, 4
(1) Laboratoire Estrogenes et Reproduction, USC-INRA, IBFA, Universite de Caen, Caen, France (2) Department of Biology, State University of Medan, Medan, Indonesia (3) Laboratoire de Biochimie du Tissu Conjonctif, EA3214, CHU Cote de Nacre, Caen, France (4) Laboratoire de Biochimie, EA2608-USC INRA, IBFA, Universite de Caen, Esplanade de Paix, 14032 Caen, France

G. E. Seralini

Received: 25 July 2006 Accepted: 20 November 2006 Published online: 4 May 2007

Abstract Roundup® is the major herbicide used worldwide, in particular on genetically modified plants that have been designed to tolerate it. We have tested the toxicity and endocrine disruption potential of Roundup (Bioforce®) on human embryonic 293 and placental-derived JEG3 cells, but also on normal human placenta and equine testis. The cell lines have proven to be suitable to estimate hormonal activity and toxicity of pollutants. The median lethal dose
(LD50) of Roundup with embryonic cells is 0.3% within 1 h in serum-free medium, and it decreases to reach 0.06% (containing among other compounds 1.27 mM glyphosate) after 72 h in the presence of serum. In these conditions, the embryonic cells appear to be 2–4 times more sensitive than the placental ones. In all instances, Roundup (generally used in agriculture at 1–2%, i.e., with 21–42 mM glyphosate) is more efficient than its active ingredient, glyphosate,
suggesting a synergistic effect provoked by the adjuvants present in Roundup. We demonstrated that serum-free cultures, even on a short-term basis (1 h), reveal the xenobiotic impacts that are visible 1–2 days later in serum. We also document at lower non-overtly toxic doses, from 0.01% (with 210 μM glyphosate) in 24 h, that Roundup is an aromatase disruptor. The direct inhibition is temperature-dependent and is confirmed in different tissues and
species (cell lines from placenta or embryonic kidney, equine testicular, or human fresh placental extracts). Furthermore, glyphosate acts directly as a partial inactivator on microsomal aromatase, independently of its acidity, and in a dose-dependent manner. The cytotoxic, and potentially endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup are thus amplified with time. Taken together, these data
suggest that Roundup exposure may affect human reproduction and fetal development in case of contamination. Chemical mixtures in formulations appear to be underestimated regarding their toxic or hormonal impact.