|To the editor:
Monsanto is at it again. Despite commanding over 60% of the U.S. corn market, they want more—they want to be on your plate. For the first time, Monsanto is marketing a genetically-modified (GM) corn that will be sold directly to consumers. This is NOT commodity corn that will be processed into oil or fed to animals. These ears of sweet corn will go directly to grocery aisles, possibly in cans or frozen packs, where it will be impossible to tell them apart from pure varieties.
We’ve got to speak up about this where it counts. Tell our nation’s largest supermarkets that we will not buy any corn unless it is clearly labeled non-GMO.
The new GM sweet corn is engineered to kill insects with Bt toxins and to resist heavy spraying with Roundup herbicide. Already, Roundup resistant crops have resulted in an epidemic of over 21 types of resistant superweeds. Even more alarming, recent studies have linked Roundup with birth defects in animals, and Bt toxins from GM foods have been found in the bloodstreams of pregnant mothers and their unborn babies. The results are clear: producing GM sweet-corn for direct human consumption will have untold environmental and health tolls.
And it doesn’t end here. If successful, Monsanto is sure to introduce more GM produce targeted for supermarket shelves.
Let’s nip this in the bud now. Trader Joe’s has already indicated they will not carry GM sweet corn.
Fundamentally, this is about the freedom of choice. If we aren’t even aware when a food has been genetically-modified, we can’t make an informed decision on whether to accept or reject the technology. Monsanto is counting on our ignorance to push GM sweet corn on us. We can show them we’re watching.
Working for safer food,
Ana Joanes, FRESH, new thinking about what we're eating