In a study published in “Food and Chemical Toxicology”  researchers led by Gilles-Eric Seralini from CRIIGEN have found that rats fed on a diet containing NK603 Roundup tolerant GM maize or given water containing Roundup, at levels permitted in drinking water and GM crops in the US, developed cancers faster and died earlier than rats fed on a standard diet. They suffered breast cancer and severe liver and kidney damage.

This research was conducted by a team of scientists led by molecular biologist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, France, who is an authority on studies into the health impact of GMO’s.  It was supervised by independent research organization, CRIIGEN.

The researchers hypothesize that the reason why NK603, NK603 sprayed with Roundup, and Roundup on its own, all produced very similar negative health outcomes, is that both the genetically engineered maize and the herbicide Roundup have similar disruptive impacts on the endocrine systems of animals that ingest them. Endocrine glands are responsible for producing a range of hormones that regulate many key bodily functions, notably including cell reproduction.

Although previous research has shown that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup and a known endocrine disruptor, can cause liver and kidney failure if consumed above maximum permitted residue levels, this is the first research that suggests that even very low levels, such as those found in drinking water, are harmful when consumed over an extended period.

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Full Study:

Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize


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 pro-files 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.


Gilles-Eric Séralini, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois