Originally posted by The Healthy Home Economist
Pre-harvest application of herbicides as a (toxic) drying agent on wheat is an established practice on many conventional farms. The method was first suggested as early as 1980, becoming routine in North America over the past 15 years or so. Use is also widespread in the UK.
Applying herbicides like Roundup 7-10 days before harvest is viewed as especially helpful for wheat that ripens unevenly, a common occurrence. It is also considered a helpful tool to initiate an earlier harvest when weather conditions threaten plant viability. Other benefits are earlier ripening for earlier replanting and reducing the green material in the field. This puts less strain on farm machinery during harvest.
Farmers euphemistically call the practice “desiccation”. When used during wheat harvest, it can result in slightly greater yield by triggering plants to release more seeds.
The result? Most non-organic wheat in North America is now contaminated with glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup and similar herbicides.
WHO: Glyphosate a Probable Carcinogen
A March 2015 report by the World Health Organization identified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen. Several EU countries have banned it as a result with more in the works. However, in North America, glyphosate use shockingly continues to remain a popular farming tool.
And, as it turns out, use of Roundup as a drying agent on wheat prior to harvest is just the tip of the iceberg. Dozens of other food crops are subjected to glyphosate dousing prior to harvest as well.