A petition to stop UK bread manufacturers using the pesticide glyphosate has reached nearly 20,000 signatures. 

The campaign, Not in Our Bread, was launched by the Soil Association, after scientists claimed that the widely used weed-killer is “probably”’ carcinogenic.

A total of 18,000 have signed the petition to urge bread manufacturers and retailers, including Hovis, Warburtons, Allied Bakery, Brace’s and all major supermarkets, to stop using wheat sprayed with glyphosate in products. It will be sent off at the end of this month.

The Federation of Bakers has previously hit back at this campaign for targeting bread, saying that glyphosate levels in 30% of bread are barely detectable.

Gordon Polson, director at the Federation of Bakers (FOB), said when it was first launched: “Where it is found, it is in such small levels it is nearly indetectable. This is constantly monitored by Defra and European safety authorities.

“While it may be legitimate to have a debate about glyphosate, it is misleading to highlight bread.”

Peter Melchett, policy director at the Soil Association, said: "We’re not surprised by the strong support we have received for our call for millers and bakers to get glyphosate out of bread. Bread is still widely seen as a basic and healthy food, and it seems extraordinary that all bread makers are not insisting that farmers stop spraying glyphosate on milling wheat just before it is harvested’