Does Roundup Cause Cancer?

Roundup, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S., contains the active ingredient glyphosate. While its effectiveness as a weed killer is undeniable, there is debate over whether Roundup use causes cancers like non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Environmental Protection Agency is actively reviewing whether glyphosate is a human carcinogen.

This is an active lawsuit

See If You Qualify for a Roundup Lawsuit

If you were diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma after being exposed to Roundup, you may be entitled to compensation. Get a free case review today.

  • A+BBB Rating
  • 4.9 StarGoogle Reviews

We value your privacy. By clicking REVIEW MY CASE, you agree to our privacy policy and disclaimer. After submitting, you will be contacted by one or more of Drugwatch's trusted legal partners (including autodialed and prerecorded calls or text/SMS messages). Msg. and data rates apply. Your consent to text messaging is not required for a case review and you may opt out of text messages at any time by texting STOP. This is legal advertising.

  • A+BBB Rating
  • 4.9 StarGoogle Reviews
Last Modified: March 5, 2024
Fact Checked

Editors carefully fact-check all content for accuracy and quality. has a stringent fact-checking process. It starts with our strict sourcing guidelines.

We only gather information from credible sources. This includes peer-reviewed medical journals, reputable media outlets, government reports, court records and interviews with qualified experts.

Why Trust DrugWatch? has been empowering patients for more than a decade has provided reliable, trusted information about medications, medical devices and general health since 2008. We’ve also connected thousands of people injured by drugs and medical devices with top-ranked national law firms to take action against negligent corporations.

Our team includes experienced medical writers, award-winning journalists, researchers and certified medical and legal experts. is HONCode (Health On the Net Foundation) certified. This means the high-quality information we provide comes from credible sources, such as peer-reviewed medical journals and expert interviews.

The information on has been medically and legally reviewed by more than 30 expert contributors, including doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, patient advocates and other health care professionals. Our writers are members of professional associations, including American Medical Writers Association, American Bar Association, The Alliance of Professional Health Advocates and International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.


  • Assisting patients and their families since 2008.
  • Helped more than 12,000 people find legal help.
  • A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
  • 5-star reviewed medical and legal information site.
Learn More About Us


"Drugwatch opened my eyes to the realities of big pharmacy. Having a family member with major depression and anxiety, I was looking for information on her medications. I found information that was very helpful, that her psychiatrist never told her."
Marianne Zahren Patient’s Family Member
  • Google Business Rating
  • BBB A+ Rating Logo

Does Using Roundup Increase Your Cancer Risk?

There is ongoing debate between researchers and regulatory agencies as to whether Roundup increases your cancer risk. Bayer, the manufacturer of Roundup, insists that its herbicide is safe when people follow the directions on the label.

However, the International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate, Roundup’s active ingredient, a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency disagrees, holding that glyphosate doesn’t cause cancer in humans. Even so, mounting scientific research and legal pressures have pushed the EPA to re-evaluate glyphosate’s cancer risks and it intends to revisit its evaluation.

Outside studies have also revealed concerning findings. A 2019 study by the University of Washington, for example, found over 40% increased cancer risk with high glyphosate exposure — a finding not disclosed anywhere on Roundup labels.

“All of the meta-analyses conducted to date, including our own, consistently report the same key finding: exposure to GBHs (glyphosate-based herbicides) are associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma,” the authors of the study wrote.

See if You Qualify for a Lawsuit Our Partners

Our Trusted Legal Partners

Drugwatch partners with trusted law firms to help you take legal action. After submitting the form, one of Drugwatch's partners will contact you for a free case review.

simmons hanly conroy law firm logo weitz and luxenberg logo sokolove law firm logo levin papantonio rafferty law firm logo nigh goldenberg raso and vaughn law firm logo morgan & morgan logo the ferraro law firm logo meirowitz & wasserberg law firm logo

Roundup Links to Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is a form of blood cancer that targets a type of white blood cell called lymphocytes. It is referred to as a cancer of the lymphatic system and typically originates in lymph nodes or other areas of the lymphatic system.

Recent Studies Linking Roundup To Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
  • 2023:
    A March 2023 study published in Leukemia & Lymphoma found that glyphosate-containing herbicides increased the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma, including a specific subtype called hairy cell leukemia.
  • 2021:
    In September 2021, a medical review of numerous studies published in Clinical Lymphoma, Myeloma & Leukemia found evidence that glyphosate-based herbicides increased the risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma and that the risk likely increases over years of exposure.
  • 2019:
    A 2019 meta-analysis published in Mutation Research found a 41% increased non-Hodgkin lymphoma cancer risk with high glyphosate exposure. They also found that long-term exposure to smaller amounts of glyphosate can increase the risk of other specific types of cancers.
  • 2018:
    A September 2018 review and meta-analysis published in Critical Reviews in Oncology/Hematology found exposure to glyphosate herbicides may increase the risk of a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma called follicular lymphoma. This cancer affects cells in the immune system. Researchers combed through data from 10 studies covering almost 20,000 individual cases and found that high, short-term exposure to these herbicides — which include Roundup — may increase the risk of developing this cancer.
Show More

Case Study: Kathy Spreadbury’s Battle With Cancer

Kathy Spreadbury was an enthusiastic gardener from Florida with a prized collection of over 100 plumerias. She routinely used Roundup to control weeds in her garden.

She developed B-cell lymphoma — something she and her husband attributed to long-term exposure to the herbicide. Throughout her decline, Kathy’s husband, Paul Spreadbury, witnessed her suffering and lamented the lack of warning about Roundup’s potential dangers.

“I would like Monsanto and Bayer to know that my wife was not a weed.”
Paul Spreadbury

“Her first battle with B-cell lymphoma required months of chemo and other treatments. Kathy lost her hair, a ton of weight, became weak, fell and had to have a hip replaced,” Paul told Drugwatch. “The cancer went into remission, but it returned in the summer of 2020 with a vengeance.”

Despite undergoing intensive treatments, her condition worsened. She entered hospice care in early December 2020, eventually dying on Christmas Eve.

“Those who gave the go-ahead to sell Roundup without warning people of its dangers need to pray to heaven that no hell exists,” Spreadbury said. “I would like Monsanto and Bayer to know that my wife was not a weed. I’ve got 37 years of memories, a beautiful daughter and two wonderful grandchildren to prove it. She has dozens of friends and a sister to prove it.”

Other Health Risks With Roundup

A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that over 80% of urine samples taken from Americans contained glyphosate. This is concerning, as exposure to glyphosate has increased by 500% between the introduction of Roundup Ready crops in 1996 and the study’s publication in 2017, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma is not the only potential risk unveiled by medical research.

Roundup Associations With Multiple Myeloma and Leukemia

Leukemia, multiple myeloma and acute myeloid leukemia are different types of cancer affecting blood and bone marrow cells. Glyphosate’s link to these cancers is inconclusive, according to researchers.

The long-term Agricultural Health Study found that those with the highest exposure to glyphosate had an increased risk of acute myeloid leukemia. Meanwhile, a 2021 study contradicted this, suggesting that only non-Hodgkin lymphoma is linked to glyphosate.

In 2020, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry reported that glyphosate exposure may increase the risk of multiple myeloma. While several studies have found a connection between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma or multiple myeloma, the link is statistically insignificant in some of these studies.

Roundup and Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive disorder that affects body movements, thinking and speech. Glyphosate exposure can lead to neurodegeneration through various mechanisms, including affecting the gut microbiome, oxidative stress, neuroinflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction.

These are all processes implicated in Parkinson’s disease, according to a 2023 article in The Lancet.

While there have been no formally established links between glyphosate and Parkison’s, some animal studies suggest that glyphosate exposure can damage the nervous system, especially when combined with other chemicals that are harmful to the brain in ways commonly found in neurodegenerative diseases.

Roundup and Autism

Autism disorder impacts how someone communicates and socializes with others. While there is no conclusive link between Roundup exposure and autism in humans, a 2022 animal study published in the journal PNAS looked at pregnant mice exposed to large amounts of glyphosate.

Maternal exposure to high levels of glyphosate in the study led to autism-like behaviors and altered gut microbiota in offspring mice. Researchers observed an increased presence of a key enzyme in the brain, suggesting a potential mechanism. However, they wrote that such high exposures are improbable in human pregnancies. Further research linking animal and human data is needed.

Preventing Roundup Exposure

There are several tips to help prevent exposing you or your family to Roundup. Most importantly, if someone uses Roundup nearby, be careful not to breathe in the product or let it contact your skin.

Tips To Reduce or Prevent Roundup Exposure
  • Always follow label instructions when using glyphosate-containing products.
  • Avoid standing in the spray or allowing it to drift onto your skin.
  • Ensure that children and pets stay away from pesticide-treated areas for 24 hours post-application or after rainfall or watering.
  • Promptly wash off any glyphosate that comes into contact with your skin or eyes.
  • Refrain from eating, drinking or smoking during weed killer application.
  • Wait 24 hours after application, or until after rainfall or watering, before walking barefoot on treated areas.
  • Wash fruits and vegetables diligently before consuming, and wash hands after handling treated plants.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using any weed killer.
  • Wear protective clothing and eyewear while handling glyphosate.

Consider Roundup alternatives that do not contain glyphosate. These products sometimes contain natural herbicides or pesticide ingredients, such as vinegar, salt and soap. Natural products can be very effective and safer for you and the environment.

What To Do If You’ve Been Exposed to Roundup

Most dangerous Roundup exposure incidents happen through ingestion, but inhalation poisoning has occurred. Short-term symptoms of Roundup poisoning include skin and throat irritation, stomach upset, difficulty breathing, changes to mental state and kidney failure.

Signs and Symptoms of Roundup Poisoning
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Anxiety
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coma
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Irritation of the mouth or throat
  • Kidney failure
  • Low blood pressure
  • Nausea
  • Slow heart rate
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

If you suspect Roundup poisoning, seek medical help immediately. Do not induce vomiting unless advised by a healthcare professional. Short-term poisoning requires a visit to the ER, while long-term exposure may increase the risk of certain cancers.

Roundup Lawsuits Claim Exposure Caused Cancer

If you were exposed to Roundup and later diagnosed with cancer, contact a lawyer experienced in Roundup litigation to discuss your options for filing a lawsuit. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

Roundup settled 100,000 lawsuits for nearly $11 billion in 2020. Verdicts in Roundup lawsuits have been as much as a $2.25 billion jury award to a Pennsylvania man in 2024.

Please seek the advice of a medical professional before making health care decisions.