Researchers at the University of Washington, the University of California, Berkeley and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York have found a “compelling link” between exposure to glyphosate-containing herbicides like Roundup and the development of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The study, published in the July-September 2019 volume of Mutation Research/Reviews in Mutation Research, compiled data from previous research in a meta-analysis and concluded that exposure to glyphosate-based products increases the risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma by as much as 41%. If you or someone you know was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup during residential or commercial use, contact an experienced product liability lawyer as soon as possible to find out if you are eligible for compensation through a Roundup lawsuit.
Studies examining the potential link between Roundup exposure and cancer have been conducted throughout the world and have been published since decades ago and up to very recently. This latest study focused on individuals in each prior study who were exposed to the highest levels of a glyphosate-based herbicide (GBH), which the researchers believed would reveal the true risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) from exposure to glyphosate. The meta-analysis included the most recent data from the Agricultural Health Study cohort published in 2018 and five case-control studies and concluded that “in accordance with findings from experimental animal and mechanistic studies, our current meta-analysis of human epidemiological studies suggests a compelling link between exposures to GBHs and increased risk for NHL.”
Introduced by agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto in 1974, glyphosate is the most widely used broad-spectrum herbicide in the world, commonly sold under the trade name Roundup. According to a 2016 paper, more than six billion kilograms, or 13 billion pounds, of glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup have been applied throughout the world over the past ten years, and their use has expanded dramatically in recent years. In the United States alone, the application of glyphosate increased nearly 16-fold from 1992 to 2009, due in large part to the introduction of genetically modified (GMO), “Roundup-ready” crops in 1996. These crops, which include soy, corn, cotton and alfalfa, are genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate, which means the herbicide can be used to control weeds and eliminate unwanted foliage without damaging crops. As a result, glyphosate residues have increased significantly and, because “glyphosate and its metabolites persist in food, water, and dust […] exposure to the herbicide in the general population is ubiquitous.” People exposed to glyphosate through application, however, face the greatest potential risk of side effects.
The scientists involved in the Roundup meta-analysis, led by Luoping Zhang of the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health, note that most people have been exposed to glyphosate directly or indirectly, which is why they chose to focus on people with the highest exposure to the herbicide, in order to determine whether glyphosate poses a significant risk to human health. They reported the following: “Together all of the meta-analysis conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: Exposure to glyphosate-based herbicides are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
One of the studies the researchers included in their meta-analysis was the 2005 Agricultural Health Study, which Monsanto cited as evidence that there is no connection between Roundup exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. However, scientists at Monsanto and one of the authors of the Agricultural Health Study said that the study was fundamentally flawed due to “non-differential exposure misclassification,” which obscured the true link between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. In other words, subjects who were exposed to glyphosate and those who were not exposed, or those who acquired the disease being studied and those who did not acquire the disease, may have been misclassified during the course of the study, potentially leading to inaccurate findings that glyphosate exposure does not cause cancer.
The results of Zhang’s meta-analysis are backed up by a March 2019 study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, which combined data from three large cohort studies of agricultural workers exposed to pesticides and found a “statistically significant” link between exposure to glyphosate and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. According to the findings of that study, glyphosate exposure increased the risk of diffuse B-cell lymphoma by 36%. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma or another type of cancer, and you believe exposure to Roundup to be the cause, do not hesitate to seek legal guidance. With a knowledgeable Roundup cancer attorney on your side, you can determine whether you are eligible to file a Roundup lawsuit and seek financial compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.