It was recently reported that the plant polyphenol resveratrol, found, e.g., in grape berry skins, extended lifespan in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans. This lifespan extension was dependent on an NAD(+)-dependent histone deacetylase, Sir2 in Drosophila and SIR-2.1 in C. elegans. The extension of lifespan appeared to occur through a mechanism related to dietary restriction (DR), the reduction of available nutrients without causing malnutrition, an intervention that extends lifespan in diverse organisms from yeast to mammals. In Drosophila, lifespan extension by DR is associated with a reduction in fecundity. However, a slight increase in fecundity was reported upon treatment with resveratrol, suggesting a mode of action at least partially distinct from that of DR. To probe this mechanism further, we initiated a new study of the effects of resveratrol on Drosophila. We saw no significant effects on lifespan in seven independent trials. We analysed our resveratrol and found that its structure was normal, with no oxidative modifications. We therefore re-tested the effects of resveratrol in C. elegans, in both wild-type and sir-2.1 mutant worms. The results were variable, with resveratrol treatment resulting in slight increases in lifespan in some trials but not others, in both wild type and sir-2.1 mutant animals. We postulate that the effect of resveratrol upon lifespan in C. elegans could reflect induction of phase 2 drug detoxification or activation of AMP kinase.