Glysophosate is a herbicide with the highest production volume of all herbicides. In the United States it is currently marketed under the trade name Roundup, and use has increased with the introduction of genetically modified crops resistant to glysophosate. Recently experts from the International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization met and assessed the carcinogenicity of different herbicides. In glysophosate they found an increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma:
Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA,14 Canada,6 and Sweden7 reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides. The AHS cohort did not show a significantly increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In male CD-1 mice, glyphosate induced a positive trend in the incidence of a rare tumour, renal tubule carcinoma. A second study reported a positive trend for haemangiosarcoma in male mice.15 Glyphosate increased pancreatic islet-cell adenoma in male rats in two studies. A glyphosate formulation promoted skin tumours in an initiation-promotion study in mice.
Glyphosate has been detected in the blood and urine of agricultural workers, indicating absorption…Glyphosate and glyphosate formulations induced DNA and chromosomal damage in mammals, and in human and animal cells in vitro. One study reported increases in blood markers of chromosomal damage (micronuclei) in residents of several communities after spraying of glyphosate formulations.16 Bacterial mutagenesis tests were negative. Glyphosate, glyphosate formulations, and AMPA induced oxidative stress in rodents and in vitro. The Working Group classified glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans”.
We will continue to follow this story as more information becomes available and update guidelines accordingly.