Whether it is major brands (Jacquet, Gerblé, Harry’s, etc.) or private labels (Intermarché, Lidl, Casino, Picard, etc.), it does not matter. According to a study of 60 million consumers on thirty industrial breads, unveiled on Monday, the majority of products contain pesticide residues.
The analysis was carried out on 350 molecules. The references are varied: sandwich bread, burger bread, hot dogs, bagels or even wraps, lists the newspaper 20 Minutes. “The basic ingredient of breads is wheat flour or other cereals, both cultivation and seed storage use pesticides. We could therefore expect to find residues in the finished products, ”explains the magazine.
Banco! In the sandwich breads, the analyzes revealed the presence of cypermethrin, a herbicide classified as “irritant and potential endocrine disruptor”, but also of piperonyl butoxide, a synergist widely used in cereal farms. It has been designated by several studies as an endocrine disruptor capable of modifying the hormonal system.
The Harry’s brand is doing the worst, with three residues detected in its “American 7-grain sandwich”. One of them is cypermethrin, an insecticide classified as irritant and potential endocrine disruptor.
Even organic breads are affected
More surprisingly, pesticides have also been detected in organic sandwich breads. Traces of cypermethrin appear in Fournée Dorée’s “Hot Dogs”, in U brand “sesame bagels”, and in Auchan “sesame bagels to garnish”.
Each time, the quantity observed does not exceed the limits authorized by law, qualifies the magazine, “but this omnipresence once again reminds us of the – too – wide use of pesticides”.
VIDEO. Why are there pesticides in some pasta packages?
The study also noted that no trace of ethylene oxide (ETO), a food disinfectant, was detected in the products tested. This carcinogenic pesticide, however banned in Europe, is at the heart of multiple scandals after being found in sesame seeds imported from India, but also in rice, tea and spices.
VIDEO. Ethylene oxide: how this carcinogenic pesticide banned Europe ends up on our plates
This summer, the Leclerc group has also recalled Snickers, Twix, Bounty and M & M’S ice creams for an ethylene oxide alert, while Auchan is recalling Leone brand Paw Patrol sticks.
In addition, no mycotoxin molecules, toxins produced by certain molds and capable of causing vomiting, anemia or even convulsions, were found in the breads analyzed.
The tests also assessed the nutritional quality of the products. Of the 28 breads, 25 obtain a Nutri-Score A or B, but they remain too salty and low in fiber, not allowing “to maintain satiety for a long time”, judges the magazine 60 Millions de consommateurs. Most contain added sugars, as well as several preservatives, emulsifiers or texturing agents.
In this regard, Emmanuel Macron pledged this Friday to carry “a strong initiative (…) for the accelerated phase-out of pesticides” when France will have the rotating presidency of the European Union, while French agriculture is struggling to reduce its dependence on synthetic pesticides.