The Soil Association is warning consumers that if we’re eating non-organic wheat products such as breakfast cereals and breads, we could also be ingesting glyphosate – which scientists have identified as a probable cause of cancer. Although I’ve always been a dedicated shopper of all things organic, our two daughters are less fussy. So I was horrified to hear that news.

The Soil Association’s report says that the use of the world’s most widely used weedkiller – glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) – on British cereal crops has increased by a staggering 400% in the last 20 years. And according to Government data, this rise is directly matched with the amount of glyphosate found in sampled bread.

Recent tests by Defra (Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs) on pesticide residues in food found that as much as 30% of UK bread contained this weedkiller. They also point out that UK wheat is also used in lots of other foods – including biscuits and breakfast cereal – which didn’t form part of this study.

70% of UK population show traces of weedkiller

Another European study on city dwellers found that in the UK, 7 out of 10 people had traces of this weedkiller in their urine.

Farmers typically spray the weedkiller before harvesting, to kill the crop and remove weeds, making it easier to harvest. But The International Agency for Research on Cancer – part of the World Health Organisation – has recently identified glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. So why is it still being sprayed on our wheat?

At a recent scientific briefing in Westminster, Professor Christopher Portier, one of the co-authors of the report said:

“Glyphosate is definitely genotoxic*. There is no doubt in my mind.”


As a Soil Association licensee, our vision is for a world where everyone has access to healthy food they can trust, and we passionately believe there’s no place for artificial chemicals in our food. Which is why we are supporting the Soil Association in calling for a UK ban on the use of glyphosate sprayed on UK wheat as a pre-harvest weedkiller.

We are asking everyone who believes that food should be chemical free to sign the Soil Association petition to keep weedkiller out of Britain’s bread. It’s very unlikely the use of glyphosate will reduce because of regulatory change by the Government. It really is going to be down to the public putting pressure on the bread companies and retailers.

Click here to read more about the Soil Association’s campaign.
And here
to sign the petition to keep weedkiller out of Britain’s bread.

*Genotoxicity describes the property of chemical agents that damages the genetic information within a cell causing mutations, which may lead to cancer. (Wikipedia.)