Richardson International, the largest agribusiness company in Canada, has announced that it will no longer be accepting any oat crops from companies that spray their pre-harvest crops with glyphosate as a desiccant.
Starting in January 2021, Richardson will be tightly regulating which oats it accepts to ensure that tainted oats, like the kind used in Cheerios, are not processed at its facilities.
The Winnipeg-based company is currently a worldwide handler and merchandiser of all major Canadian-grown grains and oilseeds, including oats. It is vertically-integrated and handles a bulk of the oats and canola-based products grown in Canada.
North America and other places that obtain oats, canola and other products from Canada largely have Detox Project and Sustainable Pulse Director Henry Rowlands to thank for this good news development. He and his cohorts have been pushing for many years to end the use of glyphosate on food crops that are about to be harvested.
“The Detox Project has been working for the last three years with food and supplement brands globally to stop the use of pre-harvest spraying using glyphosate and other chemical desiccants,” he is quoted as saying.
“We realize after extensive testing that the general public is mainly exposed to glyphosate through their diet because of the outrageous practice of pre-harvest spraying to ripen and dry crops such as oats, wheat and legumes.”
Richardson Pioneer announced in a last-month newsletter sent out to the Canadian Prairie Oat Growers Association (POGA) that it would be focusing on sourcing only Canadian oats that have not been treated with any pesticides, including glyphosate, prior to harvesting. In order to accomplish this, the company said it would be launching an Oat Procurement Program to ensure chemical-free supplies.
This follows similar announcements made by both Grain Millers and Kellogg’s, which have similarly moved to end the use of glyphosate as a desiccant in their grain supply chains.
Tom Hamilton, the senior vice president of Richardon’s Agribusiness Operations, told Real Agriculture that its new Pre-Harvest Aid Free Program “will only source Canadian oats that have not been treated with a pre-harvest desiccant.”
“Although we continue to support science in agriculture and the existing regulatory process for the approval of pesticides, we decided to meet the specifications of our oat product customers,” he added. “To meet these requirements, Richardson has chosen to source oats that are not treated with a pre-harvest desiccant for its milling operations.”
Jenneth Johanson, the president of POGA, also added that the use of glyphosate as anything other than an herbicide has never been approved. This means that using it as a pre-harvest desiccant represents a violation of acceptable agricultural standards as dictated by government regulatory bodies.
There is also the strong possibility that transitioning away from the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest desiccant will result in higher prices for growers. As consumers increasingly demand untainted, chemical-free foods, growers have a unique opportunity to provide them with what they want at a potentially higher price.
“The new program could be a culmination of pressure from consumer demand, and the no-desiccant situation might even lead to a premium,” Real Agriculture added to the conversation.
“Oats have had some good years in the past, and on Johanson’s farm in the last three years, oats have been the second most economically viable crop. So a premium for the extra risk taken on by oat producers might pay off.”
The hope is that, one day, food companies will have the opportunity to label their products as glyphosate-free, which in and of itself would draw health-conscious consumers to purchase them.
More related news about the dangers of glyphosate is available at Glyphosate.news.
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