Unfortunately when you eat your bowl of creamy oats you may be getting an extra ingredient you didn’t expect!
The use of glyphosate, an active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup) is not limited to genetically engineered (GMO) crops! When you eat oats you may also be getting a dose of glyphosate!
(The oats in the photo are uncooked Tropical Traditions rolled oats.)
Late last year the use of glyphosate on wheat got a lot of internet attention. [See my post Is Glyphosate (Monsanto’s Roundup) Used On Wheat?] Some people denied that farmers used it on crops, but, even though wheat is not a genetically engineered (GMO) crop, others agreed that the evidence indicates large farms probably do use it on wheat to facilitate harvesting.
Sadly, wheat is not the only non-GMO crop where glyphosate is applied! Some farmers spray glyphosate on oats as a pre-harvest treatment or to kill weeds.
For example, one farmer in the UK asks on The Farming Forum:
How soon can I spray glyphosate on oats to ripen them?
I’ve got a field of oats that is starting to change colour (ripen). I’d like to get it off the field so I can get another crop in. . . I wondered if there would be any further grain fill now that it’s going yellow. If not I assume I can spray it off without affecting yield too much. I will be applying glyphosate anyway to kill the grass that’s growing in the oats so thought I might be able to bring harvest forward a bit too.” (source)
Notice that he was planning to use glyphosate on the oats anyway to kill weeds.
There was a lot of hoopla about the January 2014 announcement that General Mills was taking GMOs out of original Cheerios. (source) However, as we are learning, just removing GMOs from a food doesn’t always take the poisons like glyphosate out.
While General Mills decision to switch Cheerios to non-GMO sugarcane sugar could be considered a positive step forward, it effectively distracts from the fact that General Mills’ oat products are contaminated with glyphosate due to the use of raw material that underwent post-harvest desiccation. How do we know this? Because North America’s largest oat supplier, known to supply General Mills, Kraft, Kellogg, On Agra [sic] Foods, and others, just announced it will continue to buy oats that are sprayed with glyphosate. [emphasis added] (source) [photo source: GreenMedInfo]
“Canada-based oat supplier Richardson Milling – North America’s largest supplier of oats – says glyphosate desiccation is acceptable for its oats and that it has no intention of changing its policies.” (source)
There are many problems with glyphosate-treated oats, in addition to the harm from the herbicide itself. Problems found by farmers include that oat groats are “brittle and chalky and didn’t meet specifications. . . .similar to frost damage.” Also, glyphosate reduces beta glucan levels in oats. “Beta glucan is a soluble fibre linked to improvements in cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health. Food manufacturers can place a “Heart Healthy” claim on oat-based cereals because they contain beta glucan.” (source)
Tropical Traditions, a supplier of organic foods and pastured meats, decided to test its grains and found that all of its commercial wheat samples were contaminated with glyphosate. Glyphosate was also found in samples of organic grains, including barley, oats, spelt, and einkorn. No glyphosate was found in its organic rye and millet. Samples of organic wheat from small farms in Wisconsin were also free of glyphosate. (source)
Isn’t it sad when even our organic farms are contaminated with glyphosate? Likely methods of contamination include spray drifting from neighboring conventional farms, rainwater, and irrigation.
It’s clear to me that a non-GMO label is not enough to avoid poisons like glyphosate in our food. Although even some organic samples were contaminated with glyphosate, the amount is less than in conventional foods. (source) I buy organically or biodynamically grown food whenever possible, primarily at my local farmers market, and we can now buy tested gmo-free and glyphosate-free grains from Tropical Traditions. [I get no compensation for mention of Tropical Traditions or from clicking any links in this post.]
Sources for more information:
ALERT: Certified Organic Food Grown in U.S. Found Contaminated with Glyphosate Herbicide
Are We Sacrificing Our Children to Profits From Glyphosate (Roundup) and Roundup-Ready GE Crops?
Desiccation or Pre-Harvest Glyphosate Application – Frequently Asked Questions (Canada)
Do You Have a Chronic Disease–Diabetes, Hypertension, Cancer, Autism, and more? Glyphosate (in Monsanto’s Roundup) just might be the cause!
Glyphosate is already in our food, air, and water: What is it and why should we care?
Herbicides as Ripeners for Sugarcane
Information on Glyphosate (Roundup)
Sugarcane Ripener Recommendations – Glyphosate
Tips for Pre-harvest Glyphosate and Desiccation
Toxicology Expert Speaks Out About Roundup and GMOs