Farm groups positive about glyphosate report, but some concerns raised

For Cam Dahl, the key message to Canadians about glyphosate residues is simple: the system works and food is safe.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency published a summary last week based on two years of testing food for glyphosate residues. The CFIA found that 1.3 percent of 3,188 food samples exceeded the maximum residue limits.

“The most important part of the report … is that all of the results were reviewed by Health Canada and there is no risk to Canadian health,” said Dahl, president of Cereals Canada.

“So this is a good news story.”

The CFIA and Health Canada concluded that glyphosate residues pose no health risks, but the agency found that 3.9 percent of grain products were above the MRL.

Bill Gehl, chair of Sask Wheat, said the result isn’t a major concern, but cereal growers may need to tweak their practices.


“It’s a very small amount … (but) I don’t think it’s a good news story when we have any amount of things over top of the MRLs.”

Neil Harker, a weed scientist with Agriculture Canada, said the source of residues in cereal and pulse crops is spraying glyphosate before harvest to dry down the crop for combining.

Gehl said cereal growers should be applying glyphosate at 30 percent crop moisture or less because spraying at higher moisture levels can cause higher residue levels in grain.

“The science is there that if we do follow labels properly, that the MRL issue will be dealt with at the farmgate,” Gehl said. 

“This (report) should be a (reminder) to say, ‘hey guys, we’ve got to perhaps make some minor changes in our production practices so we make sure that a small issue doesn’t become a large problem.’ ”


Spray timing may partly explain why 3.9 percent of grain products were over the MRL, but the residue limit was also a factor.

The CFIA used a default MRL of .1 parts per million for most grain products.

“If there isn’t an established MRL in place for a particular product, it of course goes back to a very small default level,” Dahl said.

The CFIA has published a summary of its glyphosate residue findings, and an agency spokesperson said Canadians can request a full report, which will be emailed to them.


  • richard

    Only in the bizarre world of modern agriculture could a report on increasing toxicity be seen as positive news…….Producers have been warned for over ten years not to inject glyphosate into living seeds….. and now find they may have to “tweak” their practices…….which we all know is code for “more of the same”…. Adding glyphosate to the litany of stupid human pet tricks such as DDT, dioxins, PCBs, lindane, mercury……is living proof that in fifty years we have learned nothing……other than to continue trying to rationalize the irrational……After all its just another systemic persistant xenobiotic plowed into the biosphere to test human endurance……Does agriculture really wonder why the public has left its church?

    • Norman Schmidt

      I have to laugh….inject Glyphosate into a living seed and you have a GMO….Really? … I am in the business, go ahead a creep me on Facebook. Gmo crops have us using less Pesticide and less toxic ones that we used to used. In fact… Glyphosate is the safest of them all. If I had a choice it would always be Glyphosate in my sprayer tank. Im making several assumptions here about you which will piss you off but will be spot on whether you like it or not. First of all, you are a Liberal tree hugger, secondly, you have never spent time on a farm. Thirdly, you probably oppose the burning of fossil fuels to require the energy for farm machinery to get the job done. Fourthly, will not entertain a reply from you untill you tell me the LD/50 of Glyphosate versus MCPA Ester, 24D Ester, Clopyralid, Trifluralin, Ethafluralin etc. Which are old school products being used in non gmo conventional agriculture long before glyphosate was used at all. Fifthly, when you figure out how to farm without chemicals and fertilizer of a a chemical nature…please tell me how you are going feed the ever growing world on 1940 levels of food production Better yet at a estimated 9 billion people by 2050, while all the while keeping in mind that the world currently has 6 weeks human quality feed grain supply at any time.. Once hunger starts kicking your ass, you wont care what is on your food, even if it is 10 times the price it used to be. Farmers feed the people to lazy or stupid to grow their own or just take an everlasting supply of it for granted. Lastly, maybe look up what which naturally occurring soil microbe donates is DNA to Round Up tolerant crops and the reason why it makes these crops tolerant. …

      • Rob Bright

        Your LD-50 toxicity measure for glyphosate is not valid. It measures only acute toxicity and not chronic toxicity — which is the real concern with glyphosate. Not to mention the fact that only the chemical, glyphosate itself is measured and not the real-world application including all the so-called ‘inert’ ingredients (which have been shown to greatly increase the toxicity of glyphosate formulations.

        Also, your claim that the use of RoundUp has reduced pesticide use is patently false (as has been shown many times.) In fact the use of glyphosate has more than doubled, and in some cases tripled since the advent of GE, glyphosate tolerant crops.

        Sounds like you’ve swallowed whole the agrochemical industry’s propaganda about safety and pesticide reduction.

        The World Health Organisation has also stressed that smaller farms, locally owned, using less chemical inputs is the way to feed a growing population is the way to go. Our modern agricultural practices are in fact going in the exact opposite direction they need to be going.

      • richard

        Sorry … ….wrong on all prophecies……No pissed off no GMO, no tree hugger, no liberal, no activist, no antisocial media (sorry I have more interesting things to do with my life than “creep you”…. whatever that means?) It will disturb you to know that I have farmed two thousand acres for forty years without any of your favorite drugs……and the reason it works is because I don’t. You see sustainable agriculture is holistic not reductionist….additive not subtractive. Promoting greater complexity in the ecosystem is the reason it becomes resilient to invasion……Being at war with nature reduces complexity such that only the most pernicious and aggressive species prevail……..Which of course is why you have to keep going back doing the same thing over and over and never solving the problem……kinda like a dog chasing its own tail…..Furthermore I regret to inform you that despite your indoctrination, you are not feeding the world…..feeding only aspiring middle class Asians etc. with cheap food……and compromising your own environment in the process…. The eight hundred million truly underfed will never be fed by us, only themselves …..they cannot afford what you produce……at any price….. When you resolve the forty percent of global food waste (Nat. Geographic 2014) or resolve chronic North American obesity, get back to me and we’ll have an adult conversation on hunger…..In the mean time please, no more platitudes on the wonders of grow more get less agriculture ok? …

        • Norman Schmidt

          Your opinion is valid as is mine. 1 billion hungry people seems okay to you so we will just sweep that issue under the rug. Keep organic farming your 2400 acres untill all your topsoil blows away. You can then sell the clay left behind for roads and building projects. Adult conversation on hunger? So its okay if America gets a little skinnier. When most people never exercise and eat chips and pop. Im talking real food here. Begging to hear what your solution is …. Tell me again how GMO canola is made? You never answered any other questions either….

          • richard

            The subject was dessication Norm…. that’s what I am talking about……no idea what youre on about…..But if you love glyphosate…..keep on playing…..the musicians on the Titanic did ???

        • excusemebut2

          … [Some] think hunger is due to a lack of production and due to lazy people not lifting a finger to feed themselves.
          That is debunked in so many ways it is sickening.
          You can not argue with right wing thinking like that.

  • Considering Canada follows US regulation like a teet starved puppy, and the US recently changed the levels of “safe” glyphosate levels, increasing it up to 300X on some crops, since studies show DNA damage at less than 1 PPM, do we really think that blanket spraying all our grains and beans with these synthetic chemicals to artificially dry them right before harvest is “safe”?
    #NotRoundupReady either. :'(