Food and farm groups combat activist effort to ban glyphosate from oat production

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Image: Neon Nettle

An effort by the Environmental Working Group seeks to eliminate the use of glyphosate in oat production, but farm and food industry groups are defending growers’ use of the herbicide and accusing EWG of trying to scare consumers away from oat products without justification.

EWG and its fellow petitioners say the change would ensure U.S. oat farmers weren’t using glyphosate as a desiccant, or drying agent …. but EWG’s request would also apply to imported oats.

The herbicide can be used to control and dry down weeds, said Shawna Mathieson, executive director of the Prairie Oats Growers Association, which represents oat producers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Without it, growers have to “swath” the oats — leaving them in the field after cutting in order to dry. That process can take 7-10 days, and depends on dry weather, Mathieson said, so eliminating glyphosate from the equation would mean …. “It wouldn’t be possible to meet current demand without using crop inputs like this,” Mathieson said.

Related article:  Podcast: NY Times reports glyphosate in Ben & Jerry's ice cream. What's the science?

The comment period on the petition ended [recently], and the fight over tolerance levels in oats, and glyphosate in general, continues to heat up.

Read full, original article: Ag industry fights back against effort to rid oats of glyphosate

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