Renewable Farming

Glyphosate in lab animals’ rations could invalidate health studies: July 2 update

Two independent studies of the mixed rations routinely fed to laboratory animals have confirmed significant levels of glyphosate and one of its breakdown products, AMPA.

The contamination is pervasive enough, and at high enough levels, to raise serious questions about the accuracy of many clinical tests on the safety of ag chemicals, including glyphosate itself.  Most lab rations fed to mice, rats, rabbits and other lab animals contain corn, soybean products and other grains which are routinely sprayed with glyphosate, either for weed control or pre-harvest desiccation.

The glyphosate remains in the feed through processing. 

The research team of Professor Gilles-Eric Séralini of the University of Caen, supported by the CRIIGEN research group, analyzed lab animal feeds sources from five continents. These are normally considered balanced and hygienic, free of contaminants. 

However, reports the Séralini news release today: “The results were overwhelming. All the feeds contained significant concentrations of several of these products, at levels likely to cause serious diseases and disrupt the hormonal and nervous system of the animals. This hides the effects of the products tested.”

Click here for the link to the Séralini press report.

Update: The full, formal paper of the study was published July 2. Here’s the link to download a PDF of the paper.

 The website GMWatch has a detailed report and analysis of the study. You may recall that an earlier, long-term study of GMO and glyphosate feeding performed by the Séralini research team found significantly high levels of tumors. The biotech industry attacked those results as invalid because, said the opponents, the types of rats used have a genetic predisposition to such tumors. In fact, if the feed is contaminated, it could make all groups of animals present symptoms which would not appear if they had been fed clean non-GMO feed.  Here’s a link to the GMWatch story by Claire Robinson.

Almost simultaneously with the Séralini release, American research scientist Anthony Samsel of Deerfield, NH shared with colleagues his own analytical analysis of a smaller sample of lab animal rations. It showed similar contamination with glyphosate and AMPA. The analysis was done with a highly accurate HPLC machine: High-Performance Liquid Chromatography.

Here is an excerpt from Samsel’s message to friends and associates on June 15:

“I received the lab results of the Purina Lab Chow analysis from my technician today.  As you know,  Purina is the leader in Laboratory chow formulations.  These formulations all use corn, soy and wheat middlings, all of which are contaminated with glyphosate, but I wanted to verify and quantify my assumption.   I have a lot more details on the chows and more analysis in progress for other vitamins I also suspect as problematic to experiments.  All details to be included in our new glyphosate and cancer paper we are currently working which uses the data of Monsanto’s own long-term rat and mouse studies reaching a different conclusion.
“The Purina diets were used in all of the Monsanto studies from the 1970s to the 1980s and the long-term Rat study of 1990.  However, that was before they were using glyphosate on food and grain crops.  So, all of the findings in the Monsanto secret studies are still valid with the exception of the organophosphate pesticide contamination known to be used at the time as residues on crop ingredients.  Their presence would have been enhanced by the glyphosate which was then being tested.  
“Feeding glyphosate contaminated laboratory diets to test animals is absolutely unacceptable.  It does not constitute good laboratory practice (GLP).  It is tantamount to laboratory or forensic misconduct, or the same as a technician contaminating the control of an experiment which has to be reported to the laboratory director for appropriate action under GLP protocol.  This also brings up another issue concerning GLP and that is the use of historical controls used to cancel out inconvenient findings in laboratory experiments.  Such noise introduced into an experiment is the same as the intentional or unintentional contamination of a laboratory experiment, as with glyphosate contaminating animal studies.  Such practice is not GLP and must be banned from science.
“Laboratory diets should be tested for the presence of not only glyphosate, but glufosinate and other herbicides, chlorothalonil (Daconil) the most widely used fungicide as well as neonicotinoids like imidacloprid, clothianidin and thiamethoxam and or other chemicals known or registered and approved for use on the raw ingredients used in the formulation of the animal chows. 
“Today, I’ve released this information below to several sources for publication and distribution.  This is a game changer and becomes very problematic for animal studies especially those done since 1990 and particularly since 2005 and continuing today.”  
HPLC Laboratory Report      Date June 15, 2015
Analyte        Result   Units    Note
Glyphosate   0.65       mg/Kg  MDL: 0.05 mg/Kg (ppm)
AMPA            0.35
Analyte        Result   Units    Note
Glyphosate   0.57       mg/Kg  MDL: 0.05 mg/Kg (ppm)
AMPA            0.27
Glyphosate   0.37       mg/Kg  MDL: 0.05 mg/Kg (ppm)
AMPA            0.10


One of Samsel’s journalist friends, Tony Mitra of Canada, recorded an interview with Samsel and posted the recording on YouTube, along with some visual aids. You can see the data and hear Samsel’s comments:

Here’s a link to the Samsel interview, 19 minutes. 

As this information about contaminated lab rations sifts into public awareness, it’s likely to raise the obvious question: If the best available, scientific feedstuffs are laced with health-influencing levels of glyphosate and its metabolites, what’s the level of such contaminants in pet rations, livestock rations…  and any processed food made with crops sprayed with glyphosate?

 The residues of glyphosate and other herbicides are also showing up in non-GMO crops like wheat because of pre-harvest burn-down applications.  Kansas State, for example, shows a list of herbicides allowed for use on wheat at the hard dough stage to dry up weeds and provide more uniform moisture in the wheat.  This season, with abundant late rain in many winter wheat areas, weeds in ripening wheat are challenging farmers with a lot of green weeds to run through the combine during wheat harvest. Here’s the link to the story originated with Kansas State.