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Position Statement: Glyphosate

The Leukaemia Foundation’s CEO Bill Petch said the Leukaemia Foundation had been closely monitoring the issue of glyphosate for many years. It accepts the position of the APVMA as the Australian regulatory body, however, as the last review was undertaken in early 2017, we encourage the APVMA to provide a current assessment of potential risk.

“We believe the issue of glyphosate now requires further review and we encourage the APVMA to undertake further scientific-based research and provide to the public all evidence of the safe use or efficacy of glyphosate in both domestic and commercial situations,” Mr Petch said.

Mr Petch said the Leukaemia Foundation had now expressed its concerns to Federal Health Minister Bridget McKenzie.

“We support a scientific approach to regulation that ensures all agricultural chemical products are thoroughly and independently assessed.

“We want to ensure Australia’s regulatory body, the APVMA, has access to the latest science around the use of the chemical glyphosate, and that it has provided the Australian public with the latest, independent and science-based information available.”

The Leukaemia Foundation encourages Australians who work with the chemical in both domestic and commercial situations to take the recommended health and safety precautions, including wearing relevant Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that meet Australian standards. In cases of domestic use, the Leukaemia Foundation suggests exercising caution and common sense and to follow the safety instructions listed on the product packaging at all times.

We are monitoring any links between glyphosate and blood cancer.

Each year in Australia around 4000 people are diagnosed with a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is not a single disease; there are in fact more than 30 different sub types which are broadly divided into the following two main groups:

  • B-cell lymphomas – arising from developing B-cells
  • T-cell lymphomas – arising from developing T-cells.

B and T-cell lymphomas are cancers of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system forms part of the immune system. It contains specialised white blood cells called lymphocytes that help protect the body from infection and disease.

Lymphomas arise when developing B and T-lymphocytes undergo a malignant change, and multiply in an uncontrolled way. These abnormal lymphocytes, called lymphoma cells, form collections of cancer cells called tumours, in lymph nodes (glands) and other parts of the body. Common sub types of non-Hodgkin lymphoma include:

  • Diffuse large B-cell Lymphoma
  • Follicular lymphoma
  • Mantle cell lymphoma
  • Burkitt’s lymphoma
  • Cutaneous T-cell lymphomas
  • CNS lymphoma