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Environment

Large-scale study finds no glyphosate-cancer connection

by Britt E. Erickson
November 20, 2017 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 95, ISSUE 46

The latest data from a long-term study of the health of tens of thousands of people licensed to apply pesticides show no evidence of a link between exposure to the herbicide glyphosate and cancer (J. Natl. Cancer Inst. 2017, DOI: 10.1093/jnci/djx233). The data come at a critical time for Monsanto, maker of the widely used glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. The company is being sued by hundreds of Roundup users who claim that exposure to the product caused them to get non-Hodg­kin’s lymphoma. The study involves more than 54,000 pesticide applicators from North Carolina and Iowa who enrolled between 1993 and 1997. Initial data from the study were published in 2004 and documented 2,088 cancers through 2001 (Environ. Health Perspect. 2004, DOI: 10.1289/ehp.7340). The latest report finds 7,290 cancer cases through 2013 in Iowa and through 2012 in North Carolina. Neither study found any statistically significant associations between cancer and exposure to glyphosate. The researchers did find, however, a possible association between multiple myeloma and glyphosate exposure that they say should be investigated further.

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