Glyphosate found in breakfast cereal
A US study has found “significant” levels of glyphosate in breakfast cereals, oats and snack bars.
43 out of 45 products sampled by the Environmental Working Group found levels of glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the world’s most widely used weedkiller.
Emma Hockridge, head of policy, farming and land use at the Soil Association said; “It’s worrying, but not surprising that glyphosate is found widely in US cereals. In the UK, government testing also found cereals to be widely contaminated and glyphosate is regularly found in routine testing of British bread.
“Glyphosate’s manufacturers insist the levels in our food are safe. But a report by the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has concluded that glyphosate is a ‘probable carcinogen’.
“Many farmers routinely use Roundup and other herbicides to clear their fields of weeds before crops emerge in the spring. But what's more alarming is they’re also using glyphosate on crops shortly before they are harvested to desiccate (dry out) the plants and make them easier to harvest.
“Glyphosate kills parts of the crop that haven’t ripened evenly, and dries the crop, but applying glyphosate so close to harvest makes the likelihood of finding residues in food even higher.
“Government and the agricultural research community need to urgently support farmers to move away from farming systems that rely on pesticides such as the herbicide glyphosate.
“Organic farmers show that it is possible to farm successfully without using chemicals like glyphosate and a lot more should be done to help all farmers improve these practical alternatives they’ve pioneered, which pose less risk to our soils, environment, and health.”
Figures from Defra show a 400% increase in the amount of glyphosate sprayed on cereal crops in the last 20 years, and in 2014, almost 1000 tonnes of glyphosate was applied to cereal crops in the UK.
In the UK, government testing also found cereals to be widely contaminated and glyphosate is regularly found in routine testing of British bread. as part of research conducted by the Expert Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRiF). The committee provides independent advice to the government on the monitoring of pesticide residues in food.