Glyphosate-based herbicides linked to leukemia at a young age, in major new research

European NGOs demand an urgent policy rethink and no renewal of glyphosate.

A new study published groundbreaking data on how low levels of glyphosate herbicides - that have previously assumed to be safe - caused cases of leukemia in young rats, following early life exposures. (1)

The ‘Global Glyphosate Study’ is an international, multi-institutional research coordinated by the Ramazzini Institute in Italy.  

A crucial EU vote on a 10 year renewal of the approved use of glyphosate is due in early November. Member states failed to meet the required qualified majority in October. 

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, PAN Germany and WeMove and other organisations in the Stop Glyphosate Coalition are calling on the EU Commission to withdraw their current proposal of renewing the licence for glyphosate in light of new evidence that just came out from the Global Glyphosate Study showing that glyphosate can cause cancer even at low doses. 

This evidence comes on top of major concerns about neurotoxicity and a possible relation to Parkinson’s disease, harm to the human microbiome and immune system and oxidative stress and damage to DNA that can be caused by glyphosate and products. All these important harmful effects were missed or underestimated by EFSA in their advice.

Peter Clausing, toxicologist (PAN Germany): “This high quality study needs the full attention of the European authorities, as it provides alarming new evidence corroborating earlier findings of glyphosate's carcinogenic effects in the lymphatic system seen in mouse studies and in human epidemiological studies.”

Angeliki Lysimachou, Head of Science and Policy (PAN Europe): “The study underscores that renewing glyphosate’s license is more than questionable- it’s outright illegal. The EU authorities have made an enormous mistake concluding that glyphosate and the representative formulation are safe. The right step now is for the EU to withdraw the current re-authorisation proposal and push for its non-renewal.”

Anne Isakowitsch from WeMove Europe: “More than 2.5 million people in Europe call for a ban of glyphosate. (2) This new research shows that it would be irresponsible to allow glyphosate to be sprayed onto our fields for another 10 years. The EU needs to listen to the people.” 

Eoin Dubsky, Senior Campaign Manager (Ekõ): “The European Commission President can’t say with a straight face that she’s protecting people and our planet, if her officials now ignore this damning new toxicological study. Von der Leyen must choose – European Pesticide Party or People’s Party.”



(1) One of the products tested was the representative formulation BioFlow (MON 52276) for which the European Food Safety Authority had recently concluded there were “no critical areas of concern” - meaning that it fulfills all the safety criteria for human health and the environment to be approved.

According to EU law (Regulation (EC) 1107/2009), pesticides that have the potential to cause harm to human health and/or the environment must be removed from the market. The European Court of Justice (Case C-616/17 has underscored that products and active substances must be thoroughly assessed to show they cause no long-term toxicity and/or carcinogenicity. 

(2) Together, Avaaz, Eko and WeMove Europe have gathered more than 2.7 million signatures for a ban of glyphosate. 



  • Anne Isakowitsch, annei [at], +49 177 654 8062 
  • Angeliki Lysimachou, angeliki [at], +32 496 392930 
  • Peter Clausing pcl [at], +49 176 43795932
  • Eoin Dubsky eoin [at] +31641636410


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Pesticide Action Network Europe (PAN Europe) gratefully acknowledges the financial support from the European Union, European Commission, DG Environment, LIFE programme. Sole responsibility for this publication lies with the authors and the funders are not responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.