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Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence | OMICS International | Abstract
ISSN: 2161-0525

Journal of Environmental & Analytical Toxicology
Open Access

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Review Article

Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence

M Antoniou1, MEM Habib2, CV Howard3, RC Jennings4, C Leifert5, RO Nodari6, CJ Robinson7* and J Fagan8*
1Head, Gene Expression and Therapy Group, Department of Medical and Molecular Genetics, King’s College London School of Medicine, UK
2Professor of entomology, former director, Institute of Biology, UNICAMP, and former provost of extension and community affairs, UNICAMP, São Paulo, Brazil
3Professor, Centre for Molecular Biosciences, University of Ulster, Northern Ireland
4Affiliated research scholar, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, UK
5Research development professor for ecological agriculture at the University of Newcastle, UK. Interests: director and trustee of the Stockbridge Technology Centre Ltd (STC), UK
6Professor, Center for Agricultural Sciences (department of plant science), Federal University of Santa Catarina, Brazil
7Research director, Earth Open Source, London, UK. Interests: editor, GM Watch, UK
8Director, Earth Open Source. Interests: employed at a GMO testing and certification company
Corresponding Author : Claire Robinson
Research director, Earth Open Source
London, UK
E-mail: [email protected]
  John Fagan
Director, Earth Open Source
E-mail: [email protected]
Received June 01, 2012; Accepted June 21, 2012; Published June 23, 2012
Citation: Antoniou M, Habib MEM, Howard CV, Jennings RC, Leifert C, et al. (2012) Teratogenic Effects of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides: Divergence of Regulatory Decisions from Scientific Evidence. J Environ Anal Toxicol S4:006. doi: 10.4172/2161-0525.S4-006
Copyright: © 2012 Antoniou M, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


The publication of a study in 2010 showing that a glyphosate herbicide formulation and glyphosate alone caused malformations in the embryos of Xenopus laevis and chickens caused a scientific and political controversy. Debate centred on the effects of the production and consumption of genetically modified Roundup® Ready® soy, which is engineered to tolerate applications of glyphosate herbicide. This study, along with others indicating teratogenic and reproductive effects from glyphosate herbicide exposure, was rebutted by the German Federal Office for Consumer Protection and Food Safety, BVL, as well as in industry-sponsored papers. These rebuttals relied partly on unpublished industry-sponsored studies commissioned for regulatory purposes, which, it was claimed, showed that glyphosate is not teratogenic or a reproductive toxin. However, examination of the German authorities’ draft assessment report (DAR) on the industry studies, which underlies glyphosate’s EU authorisation, revealed further evidence of glyphosate’s teratogenicity. Nevertheless, the German and EU authorities minimized these findings in their assessment and set a potentially unsafe acceptable daily intake (ADI) level for glyphosate. This paper reviews the evidence on the teratogenicity and reproductive toxicity of glyphosate herbicides and concludes that a new and transparent risk assessment needs to be conducted by scientists who are independent of industry and of the regulatory bodies that were involved in the existing authorisation of glyphosate.


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