FAQs: The Study
The most comprehensive study ever on Glyphosate & Glyphosate-based herbicides
- PRENATAL DEVELOPMENTAL TOXICITY
- ENDOCRINE DISRUPTION
Which institutions are involved in the Global Glyphosate Study?
The Global Glyphosate Study is coordinated by the Ramazzini Institute and involves scientists from the U.S., South America and Europe. Scientists were involved in the different phases of the study from the Boston College, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, George Mason University, University of California Santa Cruz, Federal University of Parana, King’s College London, University of Copenhagen, Italian National Institute of Health, Italian National Research Council, University of Bologna, Genoa Hospital San Martino.
Top expert scientists from the U.S. and Europe in the areas of toxicology, pesticide exposure, cancer genetics and endocrine disruption have reviewed the study protocol and given it their full support.
The Ramazzini Institute is delighted to have had cooperation on the study design from some of the most respected scientists in the world.
What data will the Global Glyphosate Study provide?
This Study is being performed by scientists who are independent, at institutes that are trusted by the public. Data from the study will include:
- Full clear long-term data on the toxicity of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures
- Full clear long-term data on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures
- Full clear long-term data on the multi-generational effects of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures
- Full clear long-term data on the neurotoxicology effects of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures
- Full clear long-term data on the endocrine disrupting effects of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures
- Full clear long-term data on the prenatal developmental toxicity effects of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures
- Full clear long-term data on the effects of glyphosate and a glyphosate-based herbicide at real-life exposures on the microbiome
The Global Glyphosate Study will supply valuable data of unprecedented power to enable regulators, governments and the general public of every country to answer the question: Are glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides safe at real-world levels of exposure?
The full comprehensive long-term Global Glyphosate Study has already started!
What is the Current Situation with Glyphosate ‘Safety’ Studies?
- No Real-Life Exposure Studies: There have never been any published long-term carcinogenicity or multi-generational lab studies on glyphosate at real-life exposure levels.
- No Comprehensive Independent Study: Hundreds of studies have been carried out on glyphosate by both the pesticide industry and independent scientists using high doses over long-term periods. However, none have been both comprehensive (covering long-term toxicity, carcinogenicity and multi-generational effects) and independent of the industry that manufactures glyphosate and glyphosate herbicides.
- Is Glyphosate an Endocrine Disruptor?: There are indications that glyphosate herbicides may be endocrine disruptors at real-life exposure levels, but there is no data that settles the question.
Why are there gaps in our knowledge regarding glyphosate?
There are many large gaps in our knowledge regarding the health effects of glyphosate and glyphosate-based herbicides, especially at real-life exposure levels of the chemical.
- Independent scientists have never had the funding available to create and carry out a comprehensive study
- Glyphosate industry safety studies on glyphosate have never concentrated on real-life exposure levels of the chemical
- Glyphosate industry safety studies on glyphosate are often ‘commercially confidential’ and kept hidden from the public and independent scientists, so cannot be independently evaluated
- Independent researchers have never before been able to call on the expert advice of a wide range of scientific experts during the creation of the protocol for the study
The Ramazzini Institute is one of the only independent scientific bodies in the world that has the ability to create and carry out a comprehensive long-term study that will have the backing of a large number of global scientific experts as well as the general public.
How much funding for the Study is required and where is it sourced from?
€ 1 Million: The budget needed for each of the 5 arms of the study.
Stage 1: Carcinogenicity and Chronic Toxicity
Stage 2: Reproductive and Developmental Toxicity
Stage 3: Windows of Susceptibility
Stage 4: Microbiome and Molecular Toxicity
Stage 5: Neurotoxicity
€ 5 Million: The total budget for this study is € 5 Million.
Some parts of the study will be able to be completed with any funding amount raised from the public above € 60,000, making this our bottom limit for fund-raising.
This not-for-profit study budget is between 100% and 200% less than a similar industry or for-profit research project would be.
The study itself is also not funded by any commercial companies. Instead we have relied on funding from the general public through crowd-funding as well as foundations and non-profit organizations.
Does the Global Glyphosate Study cover the full life span of the animals like typical Ramazzini Institute studies?
In the Global Glyphosate Study carcinogenicity arm, glyphosate and GBHs are administered long-term to Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats beginning in prenatal life until 104 weeks of age. The study ends at 104 weeks of age in line with current US National Toxicology Program and OECD carcinogenicity study guidelines.
Is there a randomization of the animals into control and test groups?
Animals are randomized in all control and test groups.
Is the Global Glyphosate Study a hazard or a risk study?
The Global Glyphosate Study will provide results that will be informative for both hazard and risk assessment. Hazard assessment determines if a substance capable or not of inducing a certain effect (neurotoxicity, endocrine disruptor, cancer). Risk assessment quantifies at what dose a certain effect might occur. The Global Glyphosate Study investigates dose ranges that encompasses both doses that are considered safe in humans, namely the EU acceptable daily intake (ADI), and doses that are considered without adverse effects in animals, the EU no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) for glyphosate. Therefore, the results provided by the Global Glyphosate Study are particularly relevant for risk assessment, being for these doses currently considered as “safe”.
Are the scientists involved in the Global Glyphosate Study independent?
Yes, the scientists involved in the study do not work for any company that manufactures glyphosate-based herbicides.
Are the type of rat used in the study – Sprague-Dawley rats – prone to cancer and other infections?
Sprague-Dawley rats are considered a gold-standard for toxicological and carcinogenicity bioassays and in line with current US National Toxicology Program and OECD carcinogenicity study guidelines. Sprague-Dawley rats are not particularly prone to cancer or infections, contrarily to many genetically-modified strains of rodents.
What were the Leukemia Results?
The Global Glyphosate Study researchers decided to publish the leukemia data as soon as it had been fully analyzed because they are of such great relevance for public health. These data are the first findings from the full Global Glyphosate Study. The leukemia data is part of the carcinogenicty arm of the study.
We have made the leukemia data publicly available in bioRxiv.
What were the Pilot Study Results?
The pilot study resulted in multiple peer-reviewed papers, which were published before the full study was started:
- Published Paper: The Need For Independent Research On The Health Effects Of Glyphosate-Based Herbicides. Environmental Health, 2018.
Authors: Philip J Landrigan, Fiorella Belpoggi.
- Published Paper: The Ramazzini Institute 13-Week Study On Glyphosate-Based Herbicides At Human-Equivalent Dose In Sprague Dawley Rats: Study Design And First In-Life Endpoints Evaluation. Environmental Health, 2018.
Authors: Simona Panzacchi, Daniele Mandrioli, Fabiana Manservisi, Luciano C Bua, Laura Falcioni, Marcella Spinaci, Giovanna Galeati, Giovanni Dinelli, Rossella Miglio, Alberto Mantovani, Stefano Lorenzetti, Jianzhong Hu, Jia Chen, Melissa Perry, Philip J Landrigan, Fiorella Belpoggi.
- Published Paper: The Ramazzini Institute 13-Week Pilot Study On Glyphosate And Roundup Administered At Human-Equivalent Dose To Sprague Dawley Rats: Effects On The Microbiome. Environmental Health, 2018.
Authors:Qixing Mao, Fabiana Manservisi, Simona Panzacchi, Daniele Mandrioli, Ilaria Menghetti, Andrea Vornoli, Luciano C Bua, Laura Falcioni, Corina Lesseur, Jia Chen, Fiorella Belpoggi, Jianzhong Hu.