Soffritti, Morando, Belpoggi, Fiorella, Minardi, Franco, & Maltoni, Cesare; “Ramazzini Foundation Cancer Program: History and Major Projects, Life-Span Carcinogenicity Bioassay Design, Chemicals Studied, and Results;” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 2002, 982, 26-45.
The Ramazzini Foundation research program was started over thirty years ago. The features of this program are: (1) systematic and integrated project design; (2) consistency over time; (3) homogeneity of approach: key members of the team remain unchanged; and (4) choice to work on new frontiers of scientific research. The program centers mainly on three projects: Project 1: experimental carcinogenicity bioassays; Project 2: experimental anticarcinogenesis assays to identify factors and active principles (compounds) capable of opposing the onset of tumors while being suitable for preventive/ chemopreventive intervention; Project 3: epidemiological studies, both descriptive and analytical, on tumor incidence and mortality in persons professionally and environmentally exposed to industrial carcinogenic risks. The project involving experimental carcinogenicity bioassays for the identification of exogenous carcinogens (environmental and industrial above all) began in 1966. This project has included 398 experimental bioassays on 200 compounds/ agents using some 148,000 animals monitored until their spontaneous death. Among the studies already concluded, 47 agents have shown “clear evidence” of carcinogenicity. The results have demonstrated for the first time that (1) vinyl chloride can cause liver angiosarcoma as well as other tumors; (2) benzene is carcinogenic in experimental animals for various tissues and organs; (3) formaldehyde may produce lymphomas and leukemias; and (4) methyl-tertbutyl ether (MTBE), the most common oxygenated additive used in gasolines, can cause lymphomas/leukemias. Many of the results achieved have led to the introduction of norms and measures of primary prevention. FULL TEXT
Manservisi, Fabiana, Lesseur, Corina, Panzacchi, Simona, Mandrioli, Daniele, Falcioni, Laura, Bua, Luciano, Manservigi, Marco, Spinaci, Marcella, Galeati, Giovanna, Mantovani, Alberto, Lorenzetti, Stefano, Miglio, Rossella, Andrade, Anderson Martino, Kristensen, David Møbjerg, Perry, Melissa J., Swan, Shanna H., Chen, Jia, & Belpoggi, Fiorella. “The Ramazzini Institute 13-week pilot study glyphosate-based herbicides administered at human-equivalent dose to Sprague Dawley rats: effects on development and endocrine system,” Environmental Health, 2019, 18(1). DOI:10.1186/s12940-019-0453-y.
BACKGROUND: Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are broad-spectrum herbicides that act on the shikimate pathway in bacteria, fungi, and plants. The possible effects of GBHs on human health are the subject of an intense public debate for both its potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects, including potential effects on the endocrine system The present pilot study examine whether exposure to GBHs at the dose of glyphosate considered to be “safe” (the US Acceptable Daily Intake – ADI – of 1.75 mg/kg bw/day), starting from in utero life, affect the development and endocrine system across different life stages in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.
METHODS: Glyphosate alone and Roundup Bioflow, a commercial brand of GBHs, were administered in drinking water at 1.75 mg/kg bw/day to F0 dams starting from the gestational day (GD) 6 (in utero) up to postnatal day (PND) 120. After weaning, offspring were randomly distributed in two cohorts: 8 M + 8F/group animals belonging to the 6-week cohort were sacrificed after puberty at PND 73 ± 2; 10 M + 10F/group animals belonging to the 13-week cohort were sacrificed at adulthood at PND 125 ± 2. Effects of glyphosate or Roundup exposure were assessed on developmental landmarks and sexual characteristics of pups.
RESULTS: In pups, anogenital distance (AGD) at PND 4 was statistically significantly increased both in Roundup treated males and females and in glyphosate-treated males. Age at first estrous (FE) was significantly delayed in the Roundup-exposed group and serum testosterone concentration significantly increased in Roundup-treated female offspring from the 13-week cohort compared to control animals. A statistically significant increase in plasma TSH concentration was observed in glyphosate-treated males compared with control animals as well as a statistically significant decrease in DHT and increase in BDNF in Roundup-treated males. Hormonal status imbalances were more pronounced in Roundup-treated rats after prolonged exposure.
CONCLUSIONS: The present pilot study demonstrate that GBHs exposure, from prenatal period to adulthood, induced endocrine effects and altered reproductive developmental parameters in male and female SD rats. In particular, it was associated with androgen-like effects, including a statistically significant increase of AGDs in both males and females, delay of FE and increased testosterone in female. FULL TEXT
Panzacchi, S., Mandrioli, D., Manservisi, F., Bua, L., Falcioni, L., Spinaci, M., Galeati, G., Dinelli, G., Miglio, R., Mantovani, A., Lorenzetti, S., Hu, J., Chen, J., Perry, M. J., Landrigan, P. J., & Belpoggi, F. “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, 17(1), 52, 2018. doi:10.1186/s12940-018-0393-y.
BACKGROUND: Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are the most widely used pesticides worldwide, and glyphosate is the active ingredient of such herbicides, including the formulation known as Roundup. The massive and increasing use of GBHs results in not only the global burden of occupational exposures, but also increased exposure to the general population. The current pilot study represents the first phase of a long-term investigation of GBHs that we are conducting over the next 5 years. In this paper, we present the study design, the first evaluation of in vivo parameters and the determination of glyphosate and its major metabolite aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) in urine.
METHODS: We exposed Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats orally via drinking water to a dose of glyphosate equivalent to the United States Acceptable Daily Intake (US ADI) of 1.75 mg/kg bw/day, defined as the chronic Reference Dose (cRfD) determined by the US EPA, starting from prenatal life, i.e. gestational day (GD) 6 of their mothers. One cohort was continuously dosed until sexual maturity (6-week cohort) and another cohort was continuously dosed until adulthood (13-week cohort). Here we present data on general toxicity and urinary concentrations of glyphosate and its major metabolite AMPA.
RESULTS: Survival, body weight, food and water consumption of the animals were not affected by the treatment with either glyphosate or Roundup. The concentration of both glyphosate and AMPA detected in the urine of SD rats treated with glyphosate were comparable to that observed in animals treated with Roundup, with an increase in relation to the duration of treatment. The majority of glyphosate was excreted unchanged. Urinary levels of the parent compound, glyphosate, were around 100-fold higher than the level of its metabolite, AMPA.
CONCLUSIONS: Glyphosate concentrations in urine showed that most part of the administered dose was excreted as unchanged parent compound upon glyphosate and Roundup exposure, with an increasing pattern of glyphosate excreted in urine in relation to the duration of treatment. The adjuvants and the other substances present in Roundup did not seem to exert a major effect on the absorption and excretion of glyphosate. Our results demonstrate that urinary glyphosate is a more relevant marker of exposure than AMPA in the rodent model. FULL TEXT
Mao, Q., Manservisi, F., Panzacchi, S., Mandrioli, D., Menghetti, I., Vornoli, A., Bua, L., Falcioni, L., Lesseur, C., Chen, J., Belpoggi, F., & Hu, J., “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, 17(1), 50, 2018. doi:10.1186/s12940-018-0394-x.
BACKGROUND: Glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) are broad-spectrum herbicides that act on the shikimate pathway in bacteria, fungi, and plants. The possible effects of GBHs on human health are the subject of an intense public debate for both its potential carcinogenic and non-carcinogenic effects, including its effects on microbiome. The present pilot study examines whether exposure to GBHs at doses of glyphosate considered to be “safe” (the US Acceptable Daily Intake – ADI – of 1.75 mg/kg bw/day), starting from in utero, may modify the composition of gut microbiome in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats.
METHODS: Glyphosate alone and Roundup, a commercial brand of GBHs, were administered in drinking water at doses comparable to the US glyphosate ADI (1.75 mg/kg bw/day) to F0 dams starting from the gestational day (GD) 6 up to postnatal day (PND) 125. Animal feces were collected at multiple time points from both F0 dams and F1 pups. The gut microbiota of 433 fecal samples were profiled at V3-V4 region of 16S ribosomal RNA gene and further taxonomically assigned and assessed for diversity analysis. We tested the effect of exposure on overall microbiome diversity using PERMANOVA and on individual taxa by LEfSe analysis.
RESULTS: Microbiome profiling revealed that low-dose exposure to Roundup and glyphosate resulted in significant and distinctive changes in overall bacterial composition in F1 pups only. Specifically, at PND31, corresponding to pre-pubertal age in humans, relative abundance for Bacteriodetes (Prevotella) was increased while the Firmicutes (Lactobacillus) was reduced in both Roundup and glyphosate exposed F1 pups compared to controls.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides initial evidence that exposures to commonly used GBHs, at doses considered safe, are capable of modifying the gut microbiota in early development, particularly before the onset of puberty. These findings warrant future studies on potential health effects of GBHs in early development such as childhood. FULL TEXT
Landrigan, P. J., and Belpoggi, F.,”The need for independent research on the health effects of glyphosate-based herbicides,” Environmental Health, 17(1), 51, 2018, doi:10.1186/s12940-018-0392-z.
BACKGROUND: Glyphosate, formulated as Roundup, is the world’s most widely used herbicide. Glyphosate is used extensively on genetically modified (GM) food crops designed to tolerate the herbicide, and global use is increasing rapidly. Two recent reviews of glyphosate’s health hazards report conflicting results. An independent review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) found that glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen”. A review by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) found no evidence of carcinogenic hazard. These differing findings have produced regulatory uncertainty.
REGULATORY ACTIONS: Reflecting this regulatory uncertainty, the European Commission on November 27 2017, extended authorization for glyphosate for another 5 years, while the European Parliament opposed this decision and issued a call that pesticide approvals be based on peer-reviewed studies by independent scientists rather than on the current system that relies on proprietary industry studies.
RAMAZZINI INSTITUTE RESPONSE: The Ramazzini Institute has initiated a pilot study of glyphosate’s health hazards that will be followed by an integrated experimental research project. This evaluation will be independent of industry support and entirely sponsored by worldwide crowdfunding. The aim of the Ramazzini Institute project is to explore comprehensively the effects of exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides at current real-world levels on several toxicological endpoints, including carcinogenicity, long-term toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disrupting effects, prenatal developmental toxicity, the microbiome and multi-generational effects. FULL TEXT
Christopher J Portier, Bruce K Armstrong, Bruce C Baguley, Xaver Baur, Igor Belyaev, Robert Bellé, Fiorella Belpoggi, Annibale Biggeri, Maarten C Bosland, Paolo Bruzzi, Lygia Therese Budnik, Merete D Bugge, Kathleen Burns, Gloria M Calaf, David O Carpenter, Hillary M Carpenter, Lizbeth López-Carrillo, Richard Clapp, Pierluigi Cocco, Dario Consonni, Pietro Comba, Elena Craft, Mohamed Aqiel Dalvie, Devra Davis, Paul A Demers, Anneclaire J De Roos, Jamie DeWitt, Francesco Forastiere, Jonathan H Freedman, Lin Fritschi, Caroline Gaus, Julia M Gohlke, Marcel Goldberg, Eberhard Greiser, Johnni Hansen, Lennart Hardell, Michael Hauptmann, Wei Huang, James Huff, Margaret O James, C W Jameson, Andreas Kortenkamp, Annette Kopp-Schneider, Hans Kromhout, Marcelo L Larramendy, Philip J Landrigan, Lawrence H Lash, Dariusz Leszczynski, Charles F Lynch, Corrado Magnani, Daniele Mandrioli, Francis L Martin, Enzo Merler, Paola Michelozzi, Lucia Miligi, Anthony B Miller, Dario Mirabelli, Franklin E Mirer, Saloshni Naidoo, Melissa J Perry, Maria Grazia Petronio, Roberta Pirastu, Ralph J Portier, Kenneth S Ramos, Larry W Robertson, Theresa Rodriguez, Martin Röösli, Matt K Ross, Deodutta Roy, Ivan Rusyn, Paulo Saldiva, Jennifer Sass, Kai Savolainen, Paul T J Scheepers, Consolato Sergi, Ellen K Silbergeld, Martyn T Smith, Bernard W Stewart, Patrice Sutton, Fabio Tateo, Benedetto Terracini, Heinz W Thielmann, David B Thomas, Harri Vainio, John E Vena, Paolo Vineis, Elisabete Weiderpass, Dennis D Weisenburger, Tracey J Woodruff, Takashi Yorifuji, Il Je Yu, Paola Zambon, Hajo Zeeb,Shu-Feng Zhou, “Differences in the carcinogenic evaluation of glyphosate between the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA),” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2016, 0:0, DOI: 10.1136/JECH-2015-207005.