The Kellogg Company has committed to phasing out the use of glyphosate as a pre-harvest drying agent in its major wheat and oat supply chains by 2025.
"Kellogg Company has been engaging with our suppliers about pesticide use, including desiccation with glyphosate, in our ingredient supply chains since before 2017," said Amy Senter, Kellogg Chief Sustainability Officer.
Glyphosate is the most widely used pesticide in modern agriculture. The practice of applying glyphosate just before harvest to dry out the crops is increasingly common for grains. At the same time, there have been several court cases regarding glyphosate causing cancer.
Environmental and public health advocates have sounded alarms after repeatedly finding residues of glyphosate in common food products. Scientists have connected glyphosate exposure to many public health and environmental harms. Jurisdictions around the world have banned the pesticide, though the U.S. EPA has found glyphosate doesn't cause cancer or pose a public health risk.
As You Sow filed a shareholder resolution on the subject of glyphosate with Kellogg Company in 2017. A resolution filed this year pushed the company to collect and report information on supply chain pesticide use; the proposal was withdrawn after the company demonstrated significant new commitments.
“We are happy to see Kellogg’s leading the industry with this substantial commitment to reduce the use of a toxic chemical that is often left behind on the food we eat," said Christy Spees, As You Sow’s Environmental Health Program Manager. "We are hopeful that its action will lead other food producers to do the same.”
Kellogg's said it continues to work with its farmers and suppliers to drive sustainable agriculture. It's a member of initiatives like the Field to Market Pest Management Task Force, which supports responsible pest management in the U.S.