Study: Gluten-Free Foods Contain More Arsenic, Mercury and Roundup than Wheat

The gluten-free diet trend is taking millions of consumers for a ride, says the Weston A. Price Foundation.

A non-profit organization dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the American diet, the board members of WAP have never been fans of the gluten-free “craze.” But a recent study and testing by the Canadian government have just given them two more reasons not to like gluten-free foods: heavy metals and glyphosate.

Heavy Metals

A study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology found that people on gluten-free diets had significantly higher levels of arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium in their bodies.

Out of nearly 4000 participants the 32 participants adhering to a strict gluten free diet had twice as much arsenic in their urine and 70 percent more mercury in their blood than those eating a standard diet.

The Weston A Price Foundation’s board members believe this is primarily because of the standard gluten-free dieter is heavily dependent upon rice. Even if they aren’t steaming it up every night, many of the packaged gluten-free baked goods use rice flour as a primary ingredient.

Consumer Reports and other groups have studied rice and shown that it is heavily contaminated with arsenic and mercury. Even organic rice contains arsenic and mercury because rice is partial to these minerals, and because U.S. agriculture was dependent on pesticides, herbicides and animal feed additives that contained arsenic for many decades, leaving it in high levels in the nation’s waters and soils.

“The findings about arsenic and mercury are especially troubling for pregnant and nursing mothers who are eating gluten-free foods and food mixes,” writes WAP board member John Moody. “They are also disturbing for young children, who are more vulnerable to heavy metals because of body weight and their developmental stage.”


While “gluten-free” marketing leads many consumers to believe they are making the “healthy” or “natural choice” — most non-organic gluten-free products are actually higher in glyphosate (the main ingredient in Monsanto’s infamous RoundUp herbicide) than non-organic wheat products.

A citizen blogger in Canada, Tony Mitra, has obtained and examined thousands of records of foods tested for glyphosate by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

After making his way through 800 of them he found 130 products from the United States and 99 products from Canada labeled “gluten-free.”

The average glyphosate reading for US-produced gluten free products was 248 ppb and that for Canada was 286 ppb.

Those numbers are between 200% and 300% higher than the conventional non-gluten-free products he looked at, which are already dangerously high.

Is it gluten or glyphosate making you sick?

This information is all the more disturbing considering several reports have come out in the last couple of years suggesting it is glyphosate, not gluten, making people sick.

The wheat industry (and now we know the whole grain industry) has been secretly and illegally drenching the grain in RoundUp right before it’s harvested to shock the plant into going to seed, thus creating a higher yield.

It is now suspected by many health professionals that it is glyphosate, not gluten, destroying people’s gut flora and linings. This 2013 study published in Entropy links glyphosate to everything from gastrointestinal disorders to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

So the very people who are avoiding wheat because they believe they are allergic or sensitive to gluten, now may be getting twice or three times as much of the chemical that was actually responsible for making them ill.

WAP-recommended alternatives

  1. Cut back on grains altogether
  2. Buy only organic grains
  3. Avoid rice, substitute with quinoa or millet
  4. Arrowroot powder and garbanzo bean flour are safe, nutritious substitutes for gluten-free baking.
  5. Prepare your grains properly by soaking, sprouting and/or souring them





16 responses to “Study: Gluten-Free Foods Contain More Arsenic, Mercury and Roundup than Wheat”

  1. Kate Avatar

    Thats why I dont feel good. I was windering about GMO’s in my gf products.

  2. Cathy McDowell Avatar
    Cathy McDowell

    I don’t eat much “gluten free” substitutes. I also don’t eat gluten. I have Hashimoto’s and I know my body. I function better, with more energy, when I don’t eat gluten. I wish it weren’t true!


    People involved in g.f. diet and eating factory-made g.f. products,do not wish to believe that truth!!!!

  4. Colene Stovall Avatar
    Colene Stovall

    This makes me so angry!!!!!

  5. Danielle Avatar

    If food and agribusinesses companies continue these practices, our entire food supply will eventually be contaminated with one or another harmful substances. The outlook for future generations is bleak.

    1. Penny G Avatar
      Penny G

      Monsanto has been poisoning us for years. 1950’s Research has shown this. Heritage seeds band or illegal so your planting GMO.

  6. Jada Avatar

    Does anyone know Is Pamela’s flour is good?

    1. Sara Burrows Avatar

      Not if the main ingredient is rice, which I believe it is. Most rice has arsenic, even organic. A little won’t kill you, but you don’t want to eat rice all the time.

  7. essayez ceci Avatar

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  8. Marty Avatar

    Garbanzo bean flour is most definitely not safe. In fact, North American chickpeas are the worst thing you can eat for glyphosate contamination, organic or not.

  9. MT Avatar

    You don’t even mention corn which is in tons of gluten free products. It’s worse then rice and is mostly GMO and sprayed with glyphosate.

  10. Caroline Arcand Avatar
    Caroline Arcand

    I just wonder how many other chemicals in our food supply that is not safe … that is making many people sick and tired … that is not being reported? Want to ‘hazard’ a guess?

  11. Cathi Koenig Avatar
    Cathi Koenig

    I have been gluten free for a year but DO rely heavily on rice as as substitute. From now on I will use more almond and sorghum flour. But How can I find out if these are safe ?

    Have been trying to avoid most corn products and soybeans because I read these are high in GMO’s.

    Is there a good way to research some of the alternative grains ?

  12. olivia pendergast Avatar
    olivia pendergast

    Wondering if it is primarily US Canadian rice that has high concentrates of arsenic? I live in Kenya and buy rice from India…. (I had heard it was high in the US because so much of it was grown in old Orchards which used to be sprayed…)

    1. Kathleen Avatar

      I believe it was grown in old cotton fields. It is loaded with Mercury due to pesticides.

  13. Diana Avatar

    I gave up gluten products when I finally realized why I had deep tissue and facial swellings, huge wheals, and throat swellings. I do use almond and coconut flour and would like to know how safe these are.