New research shows persistent intake of glyphosate seriously affects liver and kidneys

  • Last updated: 17 November 2022
A new peer-reviewed study led by Dr Michael Antoniou at King's College London describes the effect of an extremely low dose of Roundup weedkiller on rats, over a 2-year period.
person in white suit spraying weed killer on plants.

It revealed that the animals developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) - a serious condition which over 25% of the human population in Europe and US suffer from. Most regulatory tests are done in a far shorter period of just 90 days. And in this case, the dose of glyphosate administered was thousands of times below what is permitted by regulators worldwide. This study is the first to show a causative link between consumption of Roundup and a serious disease condition.

Here is the two page summary, and here is the full paper.

A synopsis, written by GMWatch, draws attention to the potentially serious implications for human health NAFLD affects 25% of the population. Risk factors which could cause the disease include being overweight or obese, having diabetes, or having high cholesterol or high triglycerides (a constituent of body fat) in the blood. Now it appears that glyphosate herbicides are also a risk factor.

Although the study was done on rats, regulators worldwide accept toxicity studies in rats as indicators of human health. The daily intake level was of only 4 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight per day, which is 75,000 times below EU and 437,500 below US permitted levels.

A key aspect to this research is the analysis of formulated weed killers which contain glyphosate, such as Roundup. These formulations, which contain other chemicals acting as surfactants, behave differently, and pose more significant risks, than 100% pure glyphosate. Further information on glyphosate is here.

Similarly, it undermines the claim that genetically modified crops pose no health risks at low doses. Many GM crops have been engineered to be resistant to glyphosate. See What are GMO's?

The authors hope that this compelling new science will convince regulators to commission independent scientists - not industry paid researchers - to conduct a new round of mammalian toxicity tests using both pure glyphosate AND common, formulated glyphosate-based herbicides.