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General Information

Document type
  • Peer-reviewed journal article
Study Type
  • feeding study
GE organism
  • Maize
GE trait
  • herbicide tolerance
  • NK603
  • France
  • Italy


  • mixed
Safety for consumption
  • negative effect

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

Séralini, Gilles-Eric; Clair, Emilie; Mesnage, Robin; Gress, Steeve; Defarge, Nicolas; Malatesta, Manuela; Hennequin, Didier; de Vendômois, Joël Spiroux
Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2012 September. 50(11):4221–4231

Link to full text (open access, freely available)

PMID: 23142680 DOI: 10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005 ISSN: 0278-6915


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 vis- ible 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 mod- ified 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.


GMO; Roundup; NK603; Rat; Glyphosate-based herbicides; Endocrine disrupting effects


Funding source
  • Association Ceres
  • Auchan
  • Carrefour
  • Foundation Charles Leopold Mayer
  • French Ministry of Research
Funding country
  • France
  • Switzerland
Funding type
  • industry: competing
  • NGO: competing industry aligned
  • government

Publication history

This study was retracted by the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology as of November, 2013, citing the inconclusive nature of the data. It was republished in June 2014 in the Journal Environmental Sciences Europe, and was not peer-reviewed for its scientific content. The new journal added a detailed comment to the paper, stating "ESEU aims to enable rational discussions dealing with the article from G.-E. Séralini et al. (Food Chem. Toxicol. 2012, 50:4221–4231) by re-publishing it. By doing so, any kind of appraisal of the paper’s content should not be connoted." For more information, see the links to outside resources below.

Cite this study


Séralini, Gilles-Eric, Emilie Clair, Robin Mesnage, Steeve Gress, Nicolas Defarge, Manuela Malatesta, Didier Hennequin, Joël Spiroux de Vendômois. "Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize." Food and Chemical Toxicology 50.11 (2012): 4221–4231. Web. 22 Jun. 2024.


Séralini, Gilles-Eric., Clair, Emilie., Mesnage, Robin., Gress, Steeve., Defarge, Nicolas., Malatesta, Manuela., Hennequin, Didier., de Vendômois, Joël Spiroux. (2012). Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 50(11), 4221–4231. doi:10.1016/j.fct.2012.08.005

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