Research Projects



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Currentright arrow Completedright arrow


Currentright arrow Completedright arrow

The effect of pesticides on the blood and lymphatic system.

In New Zealand, farming occupations have consistently been associated with an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Pesticide exposure is likely to play a role, but the specific causal agents have yet to be identified.

This study will investigate whether farmers currently applying pesticides in New Zealand continue to be at an increased risk of NHL by assessing biomarkers hypothesised to be on the causal pathway to the disease.

Blood will be collected from farmers applying different pesticides (n=100), as well as a non-exposed group (n=50), and tested for specific genotoxic, epigenetic and immunotoxic changes.

The prevalence and frequency of these biomarkers will be compared between the exposed and non-exposed groups, and within the exposed groups before and after pesticide application.

This study will provide timely insights into which currently used pesticides and spraying practices are associated with biomarkers of elevated NHL risk, thereby providing opportunities for intervention and prevention.


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Douwes J, 't Mannetje A, McLean D, Pearce N, Woodward A, Potter J. Carcinogenicity of glyphosate: why is New Zealand’s EPA lost in the weeds? NZ Med J, 2018; 131(1472): 82-89. link icon
't Mannetje A. (2019) The carcinogenicity of pesticides used in New Zealand. 27th International Symposium on Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH 2019). 29 Apr-2 May, Wellington, NZ. Occ Environ Med, 2019; 76(1): A4. link icon
't Mannetje A. (2019) Pesticides and cancer: what we know and what we don’t know. The Organic & Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference, 25 June, Blenheim, NZ. link icon
't Mannetje A. The carcinogenicity of pesticides used in New Zealand. NZMJ, 2020; 133(1526): 76-88. link icon

December 2013


  • Robert Weinkove
  • Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, Victoria University
  • Anneclaire de Roos
  • Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA
  • Aaron Blair
  • US National Cancer Institute