On Dr. William Davis’s blog, Wheat Belly, there is a new post by an ex-wheat farmer, Keith Lewis, that I found very interesting. Regardless of how you feel about gluten and wheat, I would hope we all agree that people consuming the weed killer Roundup is a bad idea.
I have been a wheat farmer for 50 yrs and one wheat production practice that is very common is applying the herbicide Roundup (glyposate) just prior to harvest. Roundup is licensed for preharvest weed control. Monsanto, the manufacturer of Roundup claims that application to plants at over 30% kernel moisture result in roundup uptake by the plant into the kernels. Farmers like this practice because Roundup kills the wheat plant allowing an earlier harvest. … This practice is not licensed. Farmers mistakenly call it “dessication.” Consumers eating products made from wheat flour are undoubtedly consuming minute amounts of Roundup. An interesting aside, malt barley which is made into beer is not acceptable in the marketplace if it has been sprayed with preharvest Roundup. Lentils and peas are not accepted in the market place if it was sprayed with preharvest roundup….. but wheat is ok.. This farming practice greatly concerns me and it should further concern consumers of wheat products.
I found this study, Residues of glyphosate and its metabolite AMPA in wheat seed and foliage following preharvest applications (PDF) which does show that when Roundup (glyphosate) is used on wheat, there are measurable amounts in the finished product. If they do it “right”, i.e. spray the correct amount at the correct rate when the seeds are at the correct maturity level and the weather is right, then the amount that ends up in the food is within “acceptable” levels.
mmm acceptable levels of weed killer … yum!