People exposed to glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used weed killer Roundup, have a 41 percent increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), according to a new analysis published in the journal Mutation Research.
“All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of NHL,” the authors wrote in the study.
The study, conducted by researchers with the University of Washington, is the most up-to-date analysis of glyphosate and its link to NHL. It incorporates a “2018 study of more than 54,000 people who work as licensed pesticide applicators,” one of the study’s authors said.
Researchers concluded that the link between glyphosate and NHL is “compelling.” Senior author Lianne Sheppard, professor in biostatistics and environmental and occupational health sciences, said she is now “convinced” that glyphosate is a carcinogen.
The safety of Monsanto’s Roundup has become a growing concern. Last August, a California jury awarded a school groundskeeper $289 million after finding that his terminal NHL was caused by regular exposure to Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing weed killers Roundup and Ranger Pro. (Monsanto appealed and the award was reduced to $78 million.) Since then, lawsuits against Monsanto, which was acquired by Bayer AG last year, have grown to more than 8,000.
Bayer issued a statement saying the new analysis contained “serious methodological flaws.”
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said in a 2017 draft risk assessment that Roundup “is not likely to be carcinogenic to humans,” but the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer in 2015 classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans” based on studies among farmers with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.