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Glyphosate - Chronic, Ultra-low Dose Exposure to Glyphosate in Drinking Water has Adverse Impacts on the Health of Liver and Kidneys


Our results suggest that chronic exposure to a GBH in an established laboratory animal toxicity model system at an ultra-low, environmental dose can result in liver and kidney damage with potential significant health implications for animal and human populations.

It was previously known that glyphosate consumption in water above authorized limits may provoke kidney failure and reproductive difficulties [43]. The results of the study presented here indicate that consumption of far lower levels of a GBH formulation, at admissible glyphosate-equivalent concentrations, are associated with wide-scale alterations of the liver and kidney transcriptome that correlate with the observed signs of hepatic and kidney anatomorphological and biochemical pathological changes in these organs [17]. In addition, as the dose of Roundup we investigated is environmentally relevant in terms of human [4], domesticated animals [12] and wildlife [34, 44] levels of exposure, our results potentially have significant health implications for animal and human populations. Furthermore, data also suggests that new studies incorporating testing principles from endocrinology and developmental epigenetics, in particular to evaluate the endocrine disruptive capability of GBH/glyphosate, should be performed to investigate potential consequences of low dose exposure during early life as well as in adults.


Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) are the major pesticides used worldwide. Converging evidence suggests that GBH, such as Roundup, pose a particular health risk to liver and kidneys although low environmentally relevant doses have not been examined. To address this issue, a 2-year study in rats administering 0.1 ppb Roundup (50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent) via drinking water (giving a daily intake of 4 ng/kg bw/day of glyphosate) was conducted. A marked increased incidence of anatomorphological and blood/urine biochemical changes was indicative of liver and kidney structure and functional pathology. In order to confirm these findings we have conducted a transcriptome microarray analysis of the liver and kidneys from these same animals.

The Full Research: 

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. AntoniouEmail author

Environmental Health201514:70©  Mesnage et al. 2015

Received: 21 April 2015Accepted: 11 August 2015Published: 25 August 2015

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