Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada

Reprod Toxicol. 2011 May;31(4):528-33. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2011.02.004. Epub 2011 Feb 18.


Pesticides associated to genetically modified foods (PAGMF), are engineered to tolerate herbicides such as glyphosate (GLYP) and gluphosinate (GLUF) or insecticides such as the bacterial toxin bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). The aim of this study was to evaluate the correlation between maternal and fetal exposure, and to determine exposure levels of GLYP and its metabolite aminomethyl phosphoric acid (AMPA), GLUF and its metabolite 3-methylphosphinicopropionic acid (3-MPPA) and Cry1Ab protein (a Bt toxin) in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. Blood of thirty pregnant women (PW) and thirty-nine nonpregnant women (NPW) were studied. Serum GLYP and GLUF were detected in NPW and not detected in PW. Serum 3-MPPA and CryAb1 toxin were detected in PW, their fetuses and NPW. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating PAGMF in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aminobutyrates / adverse effects
  • Aminobutyrates / blood
  • Aminobutyrates / pharmacokinetics*
  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins / blood
  • Biotransformation
  • Endotoxins / blood
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Food, Genetically Modified*
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Glycine / adverse effects
  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / blood
  • Glycine / pharmacokinetics
  • Glyphosate
  • Hemolysin Proteins / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Exposure*
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / blood
  • Pesticides / adverse effects
  • Pesticides / blood
  • Pesticides / pharmacokinetics*
  • Phosphoric Acids / blood
  • Pregnancy
  • Propionates / blood
  • Quebec


  • Aminobutyrates
  • Bacillus thuringiensis Toxins
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Endotoxins
  • Hemolysin Proteins
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Pesticides
  • Phosphoric Acids
  • Propionates
  • insecticidal crystal protein, Bacillus Thuringiensis
  • phosphinothricin
  • methylphosphinicopropionic acid
  • phosphoric acid
  • Glycine