By Graciela Vizcay Gomez
In addition to its use as a normal herbicide, its manufacturers advise farmers to spray their wheat with glyphosate to kill and dry the crop, making it easier to harvest.
However, glyphosate can follow the grain in our food. Tests conducted by the Defra Committee on Pesticide Residues in Food (PRIF) found that as much as 30% of UK bread contained glyphosate.
The "Not in our bread" campaign began on July 18, when the Soil Association sent a letter to all supermarkets requesting that they stop using glyphosate as a desiccant in wheat, just on harvest dates. Glyphosate kills parts of the crop that have not matured evenly, and dries up the crop. This allows combine harvesters to move faster and cover more ground during harvest, and can reduce drying costs. But applying glyphosate so close to harvest makes the likelihood of finding residues in food even higher.
"Serious yield losses can occur when most of the grain is well above 30% moisture. This highlights the potential risk from using glyphosate before harvest to 'even until' harvest. Residues are prone to be higher if glyphosate is applied to wet grain. "
The letter was sent to Tesco, Sainsbury, Waitrose, Morrisons, ASDA, Co-op, M&S, Warburtons, Hovis, Bakery Supports, Allied Mills, Federation of Bakers and NABIM.Ecoportal.net