Wilko, stop selling Glyphosate

Dear Sir
I am writing to ask you to stop selling Glyphosate in your stores. Other responsible retailers such as B&Q and Waitrose have already done this. 
Here are 10 reasons for you to do likewise. (taken from the Garden Organic website).

  1. Glyphosate is rarely used on its own, but as part of a chemical cocktail, for instance with the trade name Roundup or Weedol.
  2. These formulations are potentially far more dangerous. Dr Robin Mesnage of Kings College London, writes “We know Roundup, the commercial name of glyphosate-based herbicides, contains many other chemicals, which when mixed together are 1,000 times more toxic than glyphosate on its own.” Recent research has show these other chemicals include arsenic, chromium, cobalt, lead and nickel.
  3. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) says that glyphosate is safe. However, most of their research is provided by the industry which created the herbicide. They haven’t tested the various individual commercial formulations. And regulation safety tests on mammals cover a short period, maximum 90 days. No-one knows the effect of longterm exposure to these toxic chemicals.
  4. This is worrying, because independent research indicates that glyphosate is not only possibly carcinogenic, but that it also affects the body’s endocrine system – causing problems in the liver and kidneys. Industry testers dispute this, but interestingly have declined to reveal all the results of their safety tests. See Corporate Europe report.
  5. Over 60% of wholemeal bread contains traces of glyphosate, according to the Soil Association. While not necessarily toxic in small amounts, this gradual and persistent intake could create a health risk.
  6. This recent paper explores the effect of GBHs (glyphosate based herbicides) on the human gut. Interference with gut enzymes gives rise to many diseases such as gastrointestinal disorders, obesity and diabetes. Another paper reveals that glyphosate can increase our antibiotic resistance– a global health problem looming on the horizon.
  7. Glyphosate is the most widely and heavily used agrichemical worldwide, in agriculture, parks and amenities as well as in gardens.
  8. Recent research shows that glyphosate formulations destroy the micro organisms in healthy soil, and affects earthworms. (For a full review of the research of glyphosate on soil ecosystems, see this 2016 report from the Soil Association.)
  9. Glyphosate producers claim it is rapidly inactivated in the soil. However, the chemical is very persistent in soils and sediments, and in colder, seasonal climates, such as the UK, residues have been found in the soil for up to 3 years. It also inhibits the formation of nitrogen-fixing nodules on clover for up to 4 months after treatment.
  10. Again, makers of glyphosate claim that it is unlikely to pollute the water (ground or surface). However, a recent paper from San Paulo State University, Brazil, shows that glyphosate formulations profoundly affect the algae in fresh water. Researchers have found traces of glyphosate in wells, ground waters and reservoirs across Europe and the UK. Water contamination is probably as a result of drift from spraying, or from soil run off and erosion.

Scientists have found that we are experiencing a 6th mass extinction of species, with insects taking the biggest hit. Glyphosate is undoubtedly contributing to this decline.


We recently visited your Sheffield store with a banner and spoke to the store manager. I hope she passed on our request to you.

I look forward to hearing that you have decided to stop selling this poison in your stores.


Yours faithfully

Graham Wroe
Extinction Rebellion Pesticide Group

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