The Active Ingredient In Monsanto’s Roundup® Herbicide Deemed “Probable Carcinogen” Associated With Increased Risk Of Developing Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma

The active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup® weed killer is glyphosate. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified it as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” It did so after reviewing extensive evidence showing that glyphosate increases the risk of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Anyone who used Roundup® or another glyphosate-containing product is potentially at risk of developing cancer. This includes occasional home use in the garden, as well as working on a farm or in a nursery.

If you have been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup® or another glyphosate-containing herbicide, you may be entitled to compensation.

Phillips & Paolicelli LLP’s attorneys have decades of experience handling complex environmental and personal injury litigation. For information about herbicides and the possibility of filing a cancer lawsuit, read the following questions and responses.

Call Phillips & Paolicelli LLP for a free consultation at (212) 388-5100.


       1. What is Roundup®?

Monsanto’s Roundup® products are the most popular weed killers in the United State.

In the early 1970s, Monsanto introduced Roundup® to the consumer market. In the 1980s, Roundup® became one of the best-selling herbicides.

From 1974 until 2000, Monsanto was the sole maker of glyphosate-based herbicides. Since 2000, Roundup® has been joined by other glyphosate-containing weed killers.

With the rise of “no-till” agriculture, and the introduction of genetically modified products (GMOs) designed to tolerate herbicides, sale of glyphosate-containing products has risen dramatically. According to the EPA, roughly 100 million pounds of glyphosate are applied to farms and lawns in the United States each year.

      2. How Do Herbicides Like Roundup® Work?

Glyphosate is a broad spectrum herbicide that effectively kills or suppresses all plant types. It kills plants by inhibiting enzymes essential to their growth. Herbicides like Roundup® typically contain both glyphosate and “surfactants.” Surfactants act as wetting agents, and allow herbicides to adhere to a leaf’s surface. Glyphosate then penetrates a plant, kills it, and destroys its roots.

      3. What is IARC?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, or IARC, is the World Health Organization’s cancer research agency. It brings together experts in many fields to study what causes cancer, and promote measures to reduce the burden of disease.

     4. What Led IARC to Classify Glyphosate as a Probable Carcinogen?

In July 2015, IARC issued a health assessment finding that glyphosate is “probably carcinogenic to humans.” Its scientists did so after finding convincing evidence that glyphosate can cause cancer in laboratory animals. They also identified strong evidence of showing that glyphosate can harm genetic material.

IARC also considered studies evaluating how glyphosate affects cancer rates in humans. Research in the United States, Canada, and Sweden reported that populations exposed to glyphosate had higher risks of developing non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In certain studies, people exposed to glyphosate were three times more likely to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma than those who weren’t exposed.

Glyphosate is not the only chemical in herbicides. They also contain other ingredients, which are often not listed in their labels or safety sheets. Examples include a chemical called polyethoxylated tallowamine, or POEA.

Research suggests that these so-called “inert” ingredients in herbicides can increase the toxic effects of glyphosate. They can pose dangers even at concentrations far below those used on farms and lawns. This includes POEA, which appears to be more deadly to human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells than the herbicide itself.

      5. What is Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma?

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is also called non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, NHL, or sometimes lymphoma. It is a cancer that begins in cells called lymphocytes, a part of the immune system. Lymphocytes are in the lymph nodes and other lymphoid tissues, like the spleen and bone marrow.

There are many types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. According to the World Health Organization’s classification system, the more common forms of non-Hodgkin lymphoma are:

B-cell lymphomas, including:

– Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, such as:

  • Primary mediastinal B-cell lymphoma; and
  • Intravascular large B-cell lymphoma;

– Follicular lymphoma;

– Chronic lymphocytic leukemia /small lymphocytic lymphoma;

– Mantle cell lymphoma

– Marginal zone B-cell lymphomas, including:

  • Extranodal marginal zone B-cell lymphomas, also known as mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (MALT) lymphomas;
  • Nodal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma; and
  • Splenic marginal zone B-cell lymphoma;

– Burkitt lymphoma;

– Lymphoplasmacytic lymphoma (Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia);

– Hairy cell leukemia; and

– Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma.

T-cell lymphomas, including:

– Precursor T-lymphoblastic lymphoma/leukemia;

– Peripheral T-cell lymphomas such as:

  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas (mycosis fungoides, Sezary syndrome, and others); and,
  • Adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma;

– Angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma;

– Extranodal natural killer/T-cell lymphoma, nasal type;

– Enteropathy-associated intestinal T-cell lymphoma (EATL), Types I and II,

– Anaplastic large cell lymphoma (ALCL); and

– Peripheral T-cell lymphoma, unspecified.

      6. What Products Contain Glyphosate?

Roundup® and other glyphosate-containing products are widely used in agricultural operationsThey also have been applied to control weeds on roadsides, ditch banks, and on power lines, in forest management, and to control invasive species in wetland systems. Herbicides like Roundup® are commonly used in individual homes for weed control.

IARC reports that more than 750 glyphosate-containing products have been sold in the United States alone. They include the following products:

  • Roundup® herbicides, such as Roundup Ultra® and Roundup Pro®
  • Accord®
  • Honcho®
  • Pondmaster® Surface and Shoreline Herbicide
  • Rascal®
  • Ranger®
  • Bronco®
  • Campain®
  • Landmaster®
  • CattPlex®
  • Tomahawk®
  • Du Pont Abundit®
  • Glyphomax®
  • Glypro®
  • Rodeo®
  • Silhouette®
  • Mirage®
  • Touchdown®
  • And more….

      7. Who is at Risk of Developing Cancer from Herbicide Exposure?

Roundup® and other weed killers are used by farmers and landscapers, but also by homeowners. Anyone who used Roundup® or other glyphosate-containing products is potentially at risk, particularly those who experienced frequent or prolonged exposure to the product.

      8. Can I file a Lawsuit for Cancer Caused by Herbicide Exposure?

The best way to find out if you have a claim against Monsanto or another party based on wrongful exposure is to consult with an experienced attorney.

The attorneys at Phillips & Paolicelli LLP are highly skilled in handling catastrophic personal injury claims arising from environmental exposures. Our attorneys have been committed and dedicated to representing the injured for more than 30 years. Phillips & Paolicelli LLP is currently accepting Roundup induced injury cases in all 50 states.

If you or somebody you know was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation.

Because cases may be subject to strict statutes of limitations, it is important to speak with an attorney immediately, to avoid the possibility of losing the opportunity to bring a valid claim.

Contact us today at to set up a free consultation. Please use the form in the right margin of this page or here to contact us, or call us at (212) 388-5100.