GM Free Cymru

Testes changes identified in mice fed on GM soy

Citation: Vecchio L, Cisterna B, Malatesta M, Martin TE, Biggiogera M (2004)
Ultrastructural analysis of testes from mice fed on genetically modified soybean.
Eur J Histochem 48:449–453


We have considered the possible effects of a diet containing genetically modified (GM) soybean on mouse testis. This organ, in fact, is a well known bioindicator and it has already been utilized, for instance, to monitor pollution by heavy metals. In this preliminary study, we have focussed our attention on Sertoli cells, spermatogonia and spermatocytes by means of immunoelectron microscopy. Our results point out that the immunolabelling for Sm antigen, hnRNPs, SC35 and RNA Polymerase II is decreased in 2 and 5 month-old GM-fed mice, and is restored to normal at 8 months. In GM- fed mice of all ages considered, the number of perichromatin granules is higher and the nuclear pore density lower. Moreover, we found enlargements in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum in GM-fed mice Sertoli cells. A possible role played by traces of the herbicide to which the soybean is resistant is discussed.


This paper (yet another relating to GM soy) illustrates the non- specific toxic effects of GM foods that may arise from the highly mutagenic GM transformation process. Although the nature of the "toxins" is unknown (nobody has looked!) and the health consequences (especially in a long-term human context) of the documented effects in this paper is uncertain/unknown, what is clear here (and in many other studies) is that the GM food is causing some metabolic insult to various organs (the liver, not unexpectedly, is another prime target as other Malatesta studies have shown). This should simply NOT be happening! This is particularly evident in the soya fed mice and which could impact on the fertility of these mice. (Note: Sertoli cells help sperm mature; if there function was impeded them lower counts of normal functioning sperm would be expected).


The authors suggest a role for traces of Roundup in the effects they have identified. The comments below are from Chee Yoke Heong: establishes-dangers-of-roundup/


Three recent studies show that Roundup, which is used by farmers and home gardeners, is not the safe product we have been led to trust.

A group of scientists led by biochemist Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini from the University of Caen in France found that human placental cells are very sensitive to Roundup at concentrations lower than those currently used in agricultural application.

An epidemiological study of Ontario farming populations showed that exposure to glyphosate, the key ingredient in Roundup, nearly doubled the risk of late miscarriages. Seralini and his team decided to research the effects of the herbicide on human placenta cells. Their study confirmed the toxicity of glyphosate, as after eighteen hours of exposure at low concentrations, large proportions of human placenta began to die. Seralini suggests that this may explain the high levels of premature births and miscarriages observed among female farmers using glyphosate.

Seralini’s team further compared the toxic effects of the Roundup formula (the most common commercial formulation of glyphosate and chemical additives) to the isolated active ingredient, glyphosate. They found that the toxic effect increases in the presence of Roundup ‘adjuvants’ or additives. These additives thus have a facilitating role, rendering Roundup twice as toxic as its isolated active ingredient, glyphosate.

Another study, released in April 2005 by the University of Pittsburgh, suggests that Roundup is a danger to other life-forms and non-target organisms. Biologist Rick Relyea found that Roundup is extremely lethal to amphibians. In what is considered one of the most extensive studies on the effects of pesticides on nontarget organisms in a natural setting, Relyea found that Roundup caused a 70 percent decline in amphibian biodiversity and an 86 percent decline in the total mass of tadpoles. Leopard frog tadpoles and gray tree frog tadpoles were nearly eliminated.

In 2002, a scientific team led by Robert Belle of the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) biological station in Roscoff, France showed that Roundup activates one of the key stages of cellular division that can potentially lead to cancer.

Belle and his team have been studying the impact of glyphosate formulations on sea urchin cells for several years. The team has recently demonstrated in Toxicological Science (December 2004) that a “control point” for DNA damage was affected by Roundup, while glyphosate alone had no effect. “We have shown that it’s a definite risk factor, but we have not evaluated the number of cancers potentially induced, nor the time frame within which they would declare themselves,” Belle acknowledges.

There is, indeed, direct evidence that glyphosate inhibits an important process called RNA transcription in animals, at a concentration well below the level that is recommended for commercial spray application.

There is also new research that shows that brief exposure to commercial glyphosate causes liver damage in rats, as indicated by the leakage of intracellular liver enzymes. The research indicates that glyphosate and its surfactant in Roundup were found to act in synergy to increase damage to the liver.

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