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A comprehensive analysis of the animal carcinogenicity data for glyphosate from chronic exposure rodent carcinogenicity studies

  • Portier, Christopher J.1, 2, 3
  • 1 Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA , Atlanta (United States)
  • 2 Maastricht University, Maastricht, Netherlands , Maastricht (Netherlands)
  • 3 CJP Consulting, Seattle, Washington, USA , Seattle (United States)
Published Article
Environmental Health
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Feb 12, 2020
DOI: 10.1186/s12940-020-00574-1
Springer Nature


Since the introduction of glyphosate-tolerant genetically-modified plants, the global use of glyphosate has increased dramatically making it the most widely used pesticide on the planet. There is considerable controversy concerning the carcinogenicity of glyphosate with scientists and regulatory authorities involved in the review of glyphosate having markedly different opinions. One key aspect of these opinions is the degree to which glyphosate causes cancer in laboratory animals after lifetime exposure. In this review, twenty-one chronic exposure animal carcinogenicity studies of glyphosate are identified from regulatory documents and reviews; 13 studies are of sufficient quality and detail to be reanalyzed in this review using trend tests, historical control tests and pooled analyses. The analyses identify 37 significant tumor findings in these studies and demonstrate consistency across studies in the same sex/species/strain for many of these tumors. Considering analyses of the individual studies, the consistency of the data across studies, the pooled analyses, the historical control data, non-neoplastic lesions, mechanistic evidence and the associated scientific literature, the tumor increases seen in this review are categorized as to the strength of the evidence that glyphosate causes these cancers. The strongest evidence shows that glyphosate causes hemangiosarcomas, kidney tumors and malignant lymphomas in male CD-1 mice, hemangiomas and malignant lymphomas in female CD-1 mice, hemangiomas in female Swiss albino mice, kidney adenomas, liver adenomas, skin keratoacanthomas and skin basal cell tumors in male Sprague-Dawley rats, adrenal cortical carcinomas in female Sprague-Dawley rats and hepatocellular adenomas and skin keratocanthomas in male Wistar rats.

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