Controversial scientist claims pesticide toxicity 'proof'

Jan 30, 2014
French professor Gilles-Eric Seralini gives a press conference on November 28, 2013 at EU headquarters in Brussels

A controversial French biologist, whose 2012 paper on the alleged dangers of pesticides was withdrawn, has published new claims that the chemicals were many times more toxic than advertised.

Gilles-Eric Seralini's earlier work found that rats exposed to genetically modified maize and the pesticide Roundup developed tumours and other health problems, but his findings were questioned and his paper in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology finally retracted after his study methods were found lacking.

He told AFP on Thursday that follow-up tests, this time using human cells, showed that Roundup and other pesticides that can be bought over the counter were "between two and 1,000 times more toxic than their main, ".

This was problematic, said Seralini, as the toxicity of the active ingredient is what determines product guidelines for accepted exposure levels to the pesticide being used.

"There has been a miscalculation of the real toxicity of pesticides," the professor said, claiming his research showed "cells begin to commit suicide" in petri dish experiments after exposure to the chemicals.

Seralini's earlier paper was quashed after it prompted probes of pesticide safety by several national health agencies as well as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

The new study was published in the journal Biomed Research International, co-signed by two of Seralini's colleagues at the University of Caen in France.

It tested three herbicides (Roundup, Matin El and Starane 200), three insecticides (Pirimor G, Confidor and Polysect Ultra), and three fungicides (Maronee, Opus and Eyetak).

Of the nine, eight "were several hundred times more toxic than their active principle," the study said—and pointed to other "confidential" additions to the pesticide recipe.

Neither Roundup manufacturer Monsanto nor the EFSA could be reached for comment on Thursday.

The findings were welcomed by the French NGO Generations Futures (Future Generations), which demanded full disclosure of all the ingredients of .

Explore further: Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

French GM corn-cancer researcher to detail work

Jan 15, 2013

A French researcher who claims a link between genetically modified corn and cancer on Tuesday said he would publish his work, the day after the EU, which has cleared the maize, promised to make public its own assessment. ...

Recommended for you

Giant anteaters kill two hunters in Brazil

Jul 26, 2014

Giant anteaters in Brazil have killed two hunters in separate incidents, raising concerns about the animals' loss of habitat and the growing risk of dangerous encounters with people, researchers said.

Study indicates large raptors in Africa used for bushmeat

Jul 24, 2014

Bushmeat, the use of native animal species for food or commercial food sale, has been heavily documented to be a significant factor in the decline of many species of primates and other mammals. However, a new study indicates ...

Noise pollution impacts fish species differently

Jul 24, 2014

Acoustic disturbance has different effects on different species of fish, according to a new study from the Universities of Bristol and Exeter which tested fish anti-predator behaviour.

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

GemStone
5 / 5 (1) Jan 30, 2014
"The new study was published in the journal Biomed Research International ..." ; however, I failed in a site search to find this. Perhaps others will provide a link in these comments. Pending specifics of the publication, I will speculate on the basis of other research which has been described similarly, and having similar findings.

"He told AFP on Thursday that follow-up tests, this time using human cells, showed that Roundup and other pesticides that can be bought over the counter were "between two and 1,000 times more toxic than their main, active ingredient"."

That is, the ingredients other than the active ingredients, such as surfactants, are GREAT at killing cells in-vitro. That is also not news. Surfactants are well-known for bursting cell walls. But then, *water* sans electrolytes can do that. In vivo, homeostasis and digestion do a lot to make things innocuous.