Grain Millers Inc. firm on glyphosate-treated oats ban

Grain Millers Inc. is standing by its decision to avoid buying western Canadian oats that have been sprayed with pre-harvest glypho-sate.

Procurement manager Terry Tyson told growers in Saskatoon that it will buy only oats that have been allowed to mature naturally, either standing or in the swath.

Tyson said use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest management product disrupts the natural maturation process and negatively affects starch development, resulting in lower quality flakes and flour.

“Last summer, in 2015, we introduced our new policy on the use of pre-harvest glyphosate, in effect banning that practice, (but) we had already taken a large position in the new crop market by that time so we are (phasing in the) policy this year,” Tyson said

All Canadian growers selling oats to the company are required to sign an affidavit that prohibits pre-harvest glyphosate.

Grain Millers is headquartered in Minnesota but buys Canadian oats grown primarily in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It takes deliveries at a collection facility in Yorkton, Sask.

The company’s decision caught many growers off guard last year and some producers looked elsewhere to sell their oats.

“Suffice to say that there was a fair bit of controversy over that policy, and maybe more than we had anticipated,” he told the Saskatchewan Oat Development Commission’s annual meeting at CropSphere in Saskatoon.


Tyson emphasized that Grain Millers’ decision to avoid glyphosate-treated oats had nothing to do with health issues or food safety concerns.

“Our policy is about functional performance.”

Tyler said Grain Millers began to notice quality issues in its processed oat products four or five years ago.

The company first scrutinized its processing systems and then be-gan to look at external factors such varietal characteristics, fungicide use and chemical applications.

It eventually identified a correlation between poor flake and flour quality and the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest management tool.

The correlation was subsequently supported by laboratory analysis of starch quality.

“The early use of glyphosate as a desiccant really doesn’t allow the plant to mature,” Tyson said.


“It kills the oat plant, and the results are comparable to an early freeze.

“It doesn’t continue to mature like it would in the swath. That prevents the starch … from maturing, and immature starch makes poor quality flakes and flour.”

Practices that affect maturation hurt beta glucan production, a key nutritional attribute to the industry’s health claim linking oat consumption to heart and cardiovascular health.

Willie Zuchkan, an oat grower from east-central Saskatchewan and former chair of SaskOats, said the loss of glyphosate as a pre-harvest management tool will present a challenge.

“It’s going to be an adjustment because glyphosate was very valuable for weed control,” Zuchkan said.

“But if it’s causing a problem at Grain Millers, then I guess we’ll have to swath the crop versus trying to desiccate and straight cut it, or we’ll have to wait for it to be dead ripe and then straight cut it.”


  • richard

    Congrats to Grain Millers! Debacles such as glyphosate residues are precisely why we are subjected to longest running PR disaster ever…..and the reason why the consumer shift to organic, local, farmgate…..are self evident and inevitable.

  • Dayton

    I don’t see the problem here. Million’s of bushels of Organic milling oats are grown each year.

  • lazylarry

    yeah, finally someone with a brain! all crops need to dry naturally and why would anyone think that spraying crops before harvest is a good idea oh yah monsanto would hey so you have to buy more crap cancer causing glyphosate!!!!

    • Happy Farmer

      Please take the time to carefully read the entire article, then make a comment. This article clearly states that the decision was not Health Based, but Functionally Based. According to this article, Grain Millers are not pointing out any health issues with Glyphosate. It would seem that emotions and feelings will soon start to give way to facts based on repeatable science.

      • Farmer Boy AEA

        Get real, the PR message to the growers was that it was not an health issue. Of course lower nutrient content is a health issue, the article even said so! It cuts into health claim validity.

        Glyphosate itself is another issue but even there the latest information points to a probable carcinogen.

      • Harold

        Repeatable science? what’s that? If its nothing, then there is no facts. I don’t expect that any one article can expose all related facts and understandings to any one topic. That normally requires a book or greater. When reading an article, it is the duty of the reader to fully understand the “book first”. (or later) or ignore it totally. In other words, a article is merely a page from a book. Do we applaud the sound of a moo not knowing what a cow is? Perhaps while you were reading the article you may have not noticed the reference to “Heart and cardiovascular health”. The only reason to eat is for health and nutrition. Pointing at the flaws is hardly not noteworthy. Repeatable Science? Take a spoon full of soil from a organic farm or garden and compare it with a spoon of Glyphosate soil. You will find minerals but loss of life in one of those soils. In this loss of life you will see ground problems and health problems. Monsanto and pharmaceutical likely have a chemical for that too. Is that repeatable science? To me its science ignored. I ask you: which comments of this page didn’t matter?

        • Happy Farmer

          Repeatable science is something that everyone learned about in High School. Repeatable science is missing on both sides of the argument with regards to glyphosate. If you want to test soil or grain, it must be tested many times, at many different labs, in many different countries, with the end result always being the same, that is repeatable science. If the end result is not the same, or varies from test to test, that is not science with any base.

          • Harold

            … If life forms are teeming in that soil, you can see when there is not. that is not science that is examination. science names the little micro-bug you are looking at. That does not take running around the globe. The basis to all science is science challenging science. It Is challenging preconceived scientific notions. Finding Glyphosate in a human being is not science, its examination and discovery. Finding glyphosate in a plant cell is not science, it is examination and discovery. Finding health problems associated with Glyphosate is not science it is examination and discovery. Able- to- repeat, repeat=able? able? Science? Sorry, I cant make the connection. Maybe I was sick that day in High School along with my partners and teachers. I have no interest in changing your mind.

        • Happy Farmer

          Here is what I meant by repeatable science. Test “spoons of dirt” with tests that can be substantiated (measurable with numbers, not eye balling). Test spoons of dirt from different parts of different countries. If the results are consistently the same, that is repeatable science. That type of result will be something we can all work with.
          According to the article Grain Millers statement is that their decision is based on Functionality. It would seem further testing is necessary to determine if there is a Health based concern, but I did not see that in this article. Perhaps all of us should read “the book”, but even that won’t get us on the same page as we are all prone to making decisions based on emotions instead of facts.

          • Harold

            No sir, we make decisions based on our personal perceptions. Unfortunately, most perceptions are bought and paid for by the corporate, while using our dollars. Emotions are; acting out from those perceptions.”Repeatable science” is your term, and your justifications are yours. Perhaps you can get your car fixed from a repeatable mechanic. Perhaps a repeatable mechanic in Germany or China. They can take a stab at your repeatable engine. Nonetheless, the only thing “repeatable” from mechanic’s is telling you the cause and the solution. There is no “repeatable science” on how a spark plug works. Perhaps you like to call a spark plug repeatable? Not without a rotor and wire and a battery, and copper, and acid, etc. Do we repeat this a thousand times? To whom? The gasoline? Is it “repeatable science” that water doesn’t work in a gas tank? Only to those foolish enough to keep trying. Is your sun light repeatable? Stand on the moon and see what its really doing. Will you need a book?

          • Happy Farmer

            Thanks, you just proved my point regarding repeatable science. Your are correct that most people make decisions based on perceptions and emotions. I am simply asking for quantifiable proof from any side of any argument. When this proof shows consistency of results from a variety of samples and locations we are able to make decisions based on facts rather than perceptions. (Like not putting water in gas tanks. A fact that has been established by repeated tests and followed by a consistant result.)

          • Harold

            I have not proven anything on your behalf and I don’t know where you get you’re ideas from, but the gasoline engine was developed from the properties of oil, (Gasoline) and not the other way around. They didn’t build an engine and then go looking for the gasoline. They understood oil and its derivative, gasoline, and wrapped the engine around it. Anyone who puts water in a gasoline tank multiple times can be considered what? A genius? The steam engine the same, was developed from the properties of water, and not the other way around. Its because of a constant, that the engine was developed. Anyone who puts other than water in this engine multiple times, can be considered what? Anyone seeking quantifiable proof on both sides of this argument can be considered what; a scientist, or someone with a learning disability. Is there something repeatable about a virus? Does it repeat to be a virus, or does it simply exist as one? Is there something repeatable about copper? does it repeat to be copper or does it exist as copper. Does it repeat to create a coin, or is it melted precisely at 1,084.62 c avoiding 2,562 c and formed into one. Do we get this the first time or do we repeat a thousand more to learn how to make a coin. How many soil samples do you need to find copper? That’s not repeatable science; that’s repeatable digging and not knowing where to look.(at sea) We are talking about a shovel, and not science. copper doesn’t depend on a shovel to exist. its a constant. That being said, you agreed with me and yet you did not understand that -in fact- you were disagreeing. To be clear, facts -wrong or right- form our perceptions. emoting is acting out from perceptions. Simply put, if you think its going to rain,(fact) and you fear getting wet, (perception) you will bring an umbrella.(emote, emotion) Fact- no bread, perception- cant do without it, emotion- bake some. Its all normal, unlike how you present it. Lastly, I would be foolish to ask you to show me a journal with “repeatable science” because we both know that the term does not exist, so I will not ask. Math has no repeatable values of 1 and neither does science. Both are exact systems until you get to its furthest reaches. The furthest reaches of math, is within the value of 1. As I said before, take your soil sample and have it analyzed and hear what’s missing and why. So simple.

  • Nlogax

    Notice how they are still so fearful of revealing too much truth. Ohh its nothing to do with health problems, well it should be and Monsanto are not on the side of humanity. Wake up

    • mysteryjesus

      They don’t want to reveal the truth (which i am sure they already know anyway) because it’s part of the cycle of making money for people to be in poor health. They can make money off of all these sick people getting operations to remove their colons and have to buy expensive prescriptions that don’t even work.

  • Denise

    “Why is glyphosate sprayed on crops before harvest?
    As has been said many times,we are all suffering from health problems associated with glyphosate (Roundup). It’s probably not that people are gluten-intolerant, but rather that people’s digestive tracts cannot tolerate the glyphosate and its adjunct chemicals residues in our breads and cereals.

    • mysteryjesus

      Absolutely! Anytime I consume anything with glyphosate in it, I break out in sores all over different parts of my body along with stomach/digestive problems because they are using this [stuff] in everything. The worst part is that it’s getting into all of our food. No one thinks to look at the food as the reason they are getting sick so they go to the doctor who tells them that there’s nothing wrong with them such as in my case and instead tells me that I have an ulcer! They are so stupid and blind and brainwashed. I can hardly eat anything in any of the grocery stores anymore! This needs to be stopped!

      • Stephen Daniels

        Anytime I consume a lot of rye whiskey the next morning is rough.I tell you it’s the glyphosate on the rye grain doing it.I can’t go to any other type of alcohol it’s all poison .And the poor babies getting pablum made from peas sprayed the same might as well feed them rat poison.I tell you hey there isn’t any science to back me up but that sure don’t stop anybody else from babbling incoherently here.PS of course Monsanto bought off all the scientists in the world.

        • Denise

          You know, your lack of empathy for someone who has been sick and had to figure out “on his own” what was causing it, doesn’t build a strong case for what you ‘believe’. The doctors aren’t trained to deal with many of these food -related illnesses. Lots of people have found that out the long and hard way.
          In fact,all you have done is reveal the ugly underside of this agro-chemical business.They don’t really care about people’s health or the environment. They only care about profits. …

          • Stephen Daniels

            He hasn’t figured out anything and deserves no empathy. .Give him a blind taste test with conventional and organic flour made bread and see if his body can tell the difference.Not likely.And I’m fine with Grain Millers banning it’s use on their oats.

  • mysteryjesus

    I tell ya, in the last decade, I’ve gotten sicker and sicker. I finally figured out it was the glyphosate in bread that is causing it. There are so many disgusting things going on with our food supply and nobody even cares! I have spent many years researching to figure out what was going on with my health…the last place I thought to look was the food!!! Now that I know, I have changed my diet and began to improve but this stuff builds up in your body and destroys the ability to detoxify.

    There really needs to be a movement to eliminate this absolute cancer from killing us! All in the name of greed these brainless thieves don’t care how many children they kill due to this substance and others like genetically modified corn syrup. I can’t even tell you how hard it is to figure out all of this stuff…thinking you have something that you don’t, and then finding out that the problem is their grains are all contaminated with glyphosate. This is a major problem and the farmers better start getting on this and stopping it. They are helping to kill people and take them to an early grave. Not totally their fault but they are being brainwashed by Montsanto and other governing bodies into thinking that it’s safe. Even the head of Montsanto wouldn’t even drink the stuff even though he boasted that he would.

    • Stephen Daniels

      You are speculating on your illness and causes.You do not have any doctor or proof of your claims.

    • Harold

      I share in your concern. If more people would deconstruct their dinner to see what’s on their plate, more would choose better products. The only reason to eat- is for nutrition. Today we are eating for the sake of eating. You don’t need a PHD to know that HFCS (aka GMO) and Glyphosate, and the like, are not nutrition. If you are finding glyphosate in your urine, then you eliminate it from its source. (don’t buy it) As you implied, it is almost impossible to deconstruct your dinner due to the massive secrecy involved in the Industry and government. When Industry and government and pharm become the Stewarts of our health- then who are we? Answer and results are obvious.