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Cancer from our Daily bread

Farmers are being advised to spray the chemical Roundup on their mature milling wheat to aid ripening and increase the final protein quality. Will this possible cancer causing chemical end up in our daily bread?

Roundup is an amazing chemical for killing weeds right down to the roots and has been used by farmers and gardeners for over 20 years. It is sprayed directly on to the plant and for up to two weeks nothing happens. Then the plant and everything round it dies leaving a withered, brown, patch. For drive ways and weed infested fields the chemical is brilliant for clearing all living plants to leave bear ground that can be planted with a new crop.

Perfect sourdough loaf made from organic flour

Perfect sourdough loaf made from organic flour

As a farmer I am always very careful when using a chemical this powerful and am not at all surprised that it could cause cancer if ingested. Normally the chances of this are extremely slim as the chemical is used and a new crop is planted and harvested months after the chemical was applied to the field.

Unfortunately with GM crops this is not the case, the chemical can be applied right up until harvest meaning the chemical on the food not the weeds or soil. Likewise the news that UK agronomists are advising farmers to spray roundup on nearly mature milling wheat crops to aid the even ripening to produce a higher overall protein and increase price means the chemical is actually getting on the wheat that produces flour and our bread.

Luckily many farmers are refusing to spray due to news of the possible link to cancer but some may spray and the chemical get on the wheat.

Strong organic bread making flour

Strong organic bread making flour

To me this is typical of a profit focused food industry, long supply chains, where foods become commodities and as a consequence where food scares like the horse-meat scandal will occur regularly.

I really hope I am wrong about this food scare but certainly will not be buying non organic bread or flour. And highly recommend you switch to organic bread, or, save money and make your own bread with organic flour. Or even buy some grain from your local farmer who did not use roundup to ripen his crop. For a highly recommended organic stoneground flour producer click here.


  1. Demeter says:

    According to a Which report, July 2015, 25% of the bread that is bought in the UK has been found to be contaminated with pesticides! Personally I won’t eat anything made with grains of any description. There are many who believe that the rise in gluten intolerance has been triggered by the truly shocking rise in contaminants.

  2. Tony says:

    I could be wrong but I thought Roundup killed everything and that would include the wheat itself unless it was genetically modified wheat designed to resist Roundup. It also only works on the leaves of growing plants so outside the growing season, not relevant except on weeds that grow all the time. So if the wheat being used is Roundup resistant, it must be GMO and I wouldn’t touch it with a 10ft pole!

    • bigbarnblog says:

      Yes roundup does kill the wheat. The roundup is sprayed when most of the crop is mature so that the part of the crop that is not mature dies off. This allows the whole field can be harvested earlier before it is spoilt by storms or rain resulting in a drop in the quality of the grain.

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