Systematic review and meta-analysis of glyphosate exposure and risk of lymphohematopoietic cancers

J Environ Sci Health B. 2016;51(6):402-34. doi: 10.1080/03601234.2016.1142748. Epub 2016 Mar 25.


This systematic review and meta-analysis rigorously examines the relationship between glyphosate exposure and risk of lymphohematopoietic cancer (LHC) including NHL, Hodgkin lymphoma (HL), multiple myeloma (MM), and leukemia. Meta-relative risks (meta-RRs) were positive and marginally statistically significant for the association between any versus no use of glyphosate and risk of NHL (meta-RR = 1.3, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.0-1.6, based on six studies) and MM (meta-RR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.0-1.9; four studies). Associations were statistically null for HL (meta-RR = 1.1, 95% CI = 0.7-1.6; two studies), leukemia (meta-RR = 1.0, 95% CI = 0.6-1.5; three studies), and NHL subtypes except B-cell lymphoma (two studies each). Bias and confounding may account for observed associations. Meta-analysis is constrained by few studies and a crude exposure metric, while the overall body of literature is methodologically limited and findings are not strong or consistent. Thus, a causal relationship has not been established between glyphosate exposure and risk of any type of LHC.

Keywords: Glyphosate; Hodgkin lymphoma; hematologic malignancies; herbicides; leukemia; meta-analysis; multiple myeloma; non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Glycine / analogs & derivatives*
  • Glycine / toxicity
  • Herbicides / toxicity
  • Hodgkin Disease / chemically induced
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / chemically induced
  • Multiple Myeloma / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Risk Factors


  • Herbicides
  • glyphosate
  • Glycine