Roundup: Hi, I cannot get a straight answer from... - CLL Support

CLL Support

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zentangle profile image

Hi, I cannot get a straight answer from anybody regarding this issue, so have come here. I have been an occasional user of Roundup Weedkiller for the past ten years. I have CLL/MCL. I read yesterday that it was declared a "probable" carcinogen, causing B Cell Non-Hodgkin's malignancies.  It has no warnings on the packaging. Some research suggests that you need a large exposure; another that not much could do harm. Does anyone have a handle on this?

22 Replies
Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) – WHO’s cancer agency – said that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide made by agriculture company Monsanto, was “classified as probably carcinogenic to humans”.

It also said there was “limited evidence” that glyphosate was carcinogenic in humans for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

There is a class action lawsuit being brought for the occupational use in Nebraska of glyphosate.

Pissing Contest

AussieNeil profile image

Hi Zentangle,

Given how ubiquitous glyphosate/Roundup is in the environment, if it is a significantly causative factor for NHLs, then we are in for a huge increase in NHL diagnosis rates.  So I suspect that there has to be some other factor(s) involved.  I did look into this a while back and didn't find the degree of evidence I expected:

Personally, I would much prefer to see this herbicide used far more sparingly.  I often see it being used on windy and even rainy days.  I'm dismayed by how infrequently I see gardeners and especially people who use it regularly without bothering to wear gloves or a mask.


Myrddin profile image
Myrddin in reply to AussieNeil

Unfortunately Monsanto claim it is safe and will make life difficult for anyone who puts a different point of view. 

Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to Myrddin

Oh ya, like Agents Orange and the other Rainbow Herbicides...

Anyone got a smoke? I hear tobacco is safe too... 🚬

Myrddin profile image
Myrddin in reply to Cllcanada

Yes lessons will be learned, or not depending on the bottom line. The latest trade agreements include the option to allow corporations to sue elected governments if their decisions affect the companies bottom line.  Lawyers will have a field day. 

ckblack profile image
ckblack in reply to AussieNeil

I have found that vinegar w a drop or two of dawn works great in the garden and yard and is not damaging to the environment.

PaulaS profile image

Hi Zentangle, 

How are you doing, since you started CHOP treatment?  Am I remembering right, that they were talking about doing a stem cell transplant afterwards?  

I realise you were diagnosed with mantle cell lymphoma, after being told you had CLL, but I'm sure people here will be interested to hear how you're getting on. 

Wishing you well, 


zentangle profile image
zentangle in reply to PaulaS

Hi Paula,

I'm doing well. Completed my chemotherapy and awaiting results on Wednesday. I'll let you know. If they are good, I'm pencilled in for SCT on May 4th. How are things with you?



PaulaS profile image
PaulaSVolunteer in reply to zentangle

So glad to hear you're doing well, Steve.  Do let  us know your results and whether May 4th is going to be transplant day for you!  

I'm doing OK, thanks. I feel completely over the spleen surgery now, and bloods have been reasonably stable since then, so no more treatment for now.  

My ALC is still 213.9, and of course I'd rather it was lower, but my other bloods are all OK, so the doctors are happy.  Even the Haemoglobin is in "normal" range now, and I can tell the difference.   I'd forgotten what it was like, to go up hills at anything other than a snail's pace.  I'm even getting  up mountains again - which is WONDERFUL.   Surprising how much difference it made to remove the spleen.  

Wishing you all the best for next Wednesday and the weeks ahead, 


I am sure by now you are well aware of the company that makes roundup.  It is widely used in South America.  Vice on HBO had a great documentary on this subject a few months back.  If you live in US and have HBO, you can order it on demand.  I won't go into details.

Also, read this post:

I have no answer for you but I recall that when I was first diagnosed my consultant asked the question as a possible reason for my getting CLL.

I do use Roundup extensively and have for many years, I do not mean the watered down variety you get from a garden center but the concentrated agricultural version which is not directly available to the public. I also use it on the garden as well as the fields. Previously I used Gramoxone (Paraquot) which has it's complications if accidentally ingested by humans or animals before it dries. I have to admit that I do not use gloves or goggles and facemask around the garden but never spray in the wind as it leaches and it is the mist that does the damage to plant life. In addition I use other selective weed killers such as Grazon 90 which kills brambles but not grass. For mole control I use Strycnene but am extremely careful with that for my sake and other wildlife.

Having said all that I know many people that use it far more extensively than myself without blood disorders however I am sure that other agrichemicals contribute to early deaths in the farming community, I know of many fit and active farmers that have not made sixty and died of one form of cancer or another(not CLL).

zentangle profile image
zentangle in reply to Berrytog

Thanks for your reply. Are you saying that the version I used, the garden centre version, is harmless because of its dilution? This is really the question I've been trying to get to the bottom of.

Many thanks,



Berrytog profile image
Berrytog in reply to zentangle


Yes I believe it is in diluted form as it's purpose is for garden use to be used by amateur gardeners, possibly children and usually they have pets of one sort or another. One can of agri-strength roundup will treat twenty acres and can be bought in twenty litre drums(four cans). Even at that strength it is safe in half an hour or less( when dry). It was developed as other products required more care in application. It is not selective and can last for six months, it kills most weeds but not all and is applied now as things begin to grow taking two weeks to show, it does not sterilise the ground, it only kills what is growing.

zentangle profile image
zentangle in reply to Berrytog

Thank you so much. Reading between the lines then, an annual spraying for an hour is unlikely to result in lymphoma.

Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to zentangle

What happened to weeding by hand...I thought that was part of gardening? 

zentangle profile image
zentangle in reply to Cllcanada

I have reverted to boiling water. It works a treat!

Wow, i woke up in middle of night thinking the same thing. Glo phosphate is a carcinogen. Not sure of which canxer, i was going to ask my researchers at mdacc to investigate. 

Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to Swissnology

It is probable carcinogen related to NHL with limited evidence, read the links I provided from the WHO. They are refering to occupational exposure.

I am involved with digital health start-ups and I was recently at a funding event with a team that works to find owners of animals with advanced disease that will participate in clinical trials of drugs that will eventually be used by us. The issue of animals that live next to golf courses came up, and he said that they absolutely have greater incidence of cancers thanks to Round Up. These guys were fun Penn Vet school, and while this isn't scientific, I have no reason to doubt what they said.

As a CLL sufferer who has had close contact with weed killers and herbicides. I contacted the lawyer in Nebraska. The issue is not whether they can prove that weedkiller is a  carcinogen but that it caused the CLL and that no other causal factor was likely. I suspect this may be a tall order. I would suggest that farmers and gardeners are careful with any chemical they use and if possible avoid them.

Cllcanada profile image
CllcanadaTop Poster CURE Hero in reply to HappyDave

You hit the nail on the head Dave, there is no is unprovable, the best we ever get ... even with Agent Orange is 'increased relative risk' of CLL.

In AO the risk was high enough to be awarded compensation through the VA, but it took 20 years of fighting to get it...

Interestingly, a little known fact, but SLL patients were awarded AO compensation many years prior to CLL. Only when CLL and SLL were shown to be the same cancer genetically with FISH tests was compensation given to CLL patients...

The 'causal link' argument was used for 25 years by the tobacco companies to squash the obvious deadly truth.

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