"This is a huge development" – children's health researcher
Kellogg's has published a statement (see below) saying it will phase out the use of glyphosate herbicide as a drying agent (desiccant) before harvest.
Dr Charles Benbrook, coordinator of the Heartland Study Project on the effects of herbicide spraying on children's health and birth outcomes, commented on the move:
"This is a huge development. If Bayer wants to save some uses of Roundup going forward, it has to take many steps, and one of the most important is leading a global effort to rescind all the very high glyphosate tolerances put in place to cover residues from pre-harvest, desiccation uses. Getting rid of these tolerances will end all the pre-harvest uses, and is the easiest and quickest way administratively to accomplish this goal. That step could be taken in 1-2 years, and will eliminate most, day-to-day glyphosate dietary exposure for the general public, worldwide."
The Kellogg's statement reads:
"Kellogg does not own or operate farms and we have been engaging with our suppliers about pesticide use, including desiccation with glyphosate, in our ingredient supply chains since before 2017.
"We know that some consumers have questions about the use of the herbicide glyphosate (also known by its brand name Round Up) as a drying agent a few weeks before harvest, particularly with wheat and oats. This practice is done by some farmers in certain circumstances – like harvesting the crop more quickly if weather is challenging.
"Although this practice is not widespread in our wheat and oat supply chains, we are working with our suppliers to phase out using glyphosate as pre-harvest drying agent in our wheat and oat supply chain in our major markets, including the U.S., by the end of 2025.
"In addition, we are working with farmers through our Kellogg’s Origins program, expanding and further investing in programs that focus on conservation practices and integrated pest management, which can reduce the need for chemical plant protection.
"Kellogg has been a long-time member of multi-stakeholder initiatives like Field To Market and is one of the only branded food companies engaged in the Field To Market Pest Management Task Force, in an effort to collaborate across farming and food stakeholders to support responsible pest management in US agriculture. For more information, see this Social K post from 2019.
"It is important to note that all of Kellogg’s finished foods meet regulatory requirements, and we continue to actively monitor the science, regulations and consumer preferences on this topic."