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Poisoned picnics - liver disease in the sandwiches?

For Immediate Release 13 January 2017

Roundup causes Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD) at levels Australians are exposed to in our food and water. Roundup, a glyphosate-based weedkiller, has been found in bread, cereal, baby food, honey, beer, wine and water. It has also been found in people's urine and breastmilk. NAFLD is the major liver disease in Australia, its incidence is increasing and children are affected. 

"Mothers should be able to feed their children without having to worry that we may be inadvertently setting our kids up for liver disease" said Fran Murrell from MADGE.

The peer-reviewed study, released this week, fed female rats the weedkiller Roundup at very low levels in their drinking water for two years. The study used cutting edge molecular profiling techniques and showed a clear link between Roundup and NAFLD.  

The leader of the study, Dr Antoniou, from King's College London said: “Our results also suggest that regulators should reconsider the safety evaluation of glyphosate-based herbicides.”

Roundup is the most used weedkiller in Australia. It is sold in supermarkets for home gardeners. It is sprayed on GM crops while they are growing and on wheat, barley and pulses like chickpeas and lentils to dry them just before harvest. It is used by councils to spray parks and roadsides for weeds. 

"France has just banned the use of Roundup in parks. We are hoping that Australia will follow suit and protect our children too. We do not want disease-causing Roundup in our sandwiches or on that grass we sit on. A picnic in the park should be a lovely treat not something that puts our kids health at risk. " Said Fran Murrell.

Mesnage R, Renney G, Séralini GE, Ward M, Antoniou MN. Multiomics reveal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in rats following chronic exposure to an ultra-low dose of Roundup herbicide. Scientific Reports, 2016; 6:39328.

Stats on liver disease in Australia:
The GastroenterologicalSociety ofAustralia/Australian LiverAssociation(2013) The economic cost and health burden of liver diseases in Australia, Deloitte Access Economics,

Roundup/glyphosate detected in human body fluids, food and water:

France bans pesticides in green spaces:  

For further comment contact:
Dr Michael Antoniou, Head: Gene Expression and Therapy Group, King's College London: Tel: +44 (0)20 7848 8501; Email:

Fran Murrell, MADGE Australia 0401 407 944