New work shows [that] changes in treated crops are substantial enough to change both their nutritional value and flavour.
[The researchers] ran an extensive series of trials on large fields growing sweetcorn, a widely eaten vegetable.
The team worked with the four commonly used herbicides: mesotrione, topramezone, nicosulfuron and atrazine.
The results, just published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, revealed that applying herbicides increased the amount of protein that the plants stored in their kernels by as little as 4% and as much as 12% when nicosulfuron was combined with the safener. The amounts of mineral taken up by the plants increased as well, with levels of phosphorous, magnesium and manganese going up by between 14% and 51% and iron content rising by 67% in plants exposed to the nicosulfuron/safener combination. The balance of sugars found in the tissues of the sweetcorn changed as well. Fructose concentrations shot up by 48% upon exposure to nicosulfuron; 63% to topramezone and 68% to the nicosulfuron/safener combination. Glucose concentrations increased by 19% with mesotrione, 40% with topramezone and 43% with the nicosulfuron/safener combination. In contrast, sucrose levels in the corn dropped.
Editor's note: Read the full study (behind paywall)
Read full, original post: Spraying herbicides changes the flavour and nutritional value of crops