GM Drought Resistant Corn Up For Deregulation Even Though the USDA Says it Doesn't Perform Well
The latest GM crop up for deregulation is Monsanto's drought resistant corn. Although much of the nation's corn crop is genetically modified for pests and herbicides, this will be the first GM crop approved for drought resistance. Monsanto wants approval fast because with drought becoming a growing problem throughout the country, there's big money in getting this seed to market. But the problem is the USDA has openly stated that the new GM corn doesn't work as well as many natural corn varieties already on the market. Drought has become a growing problem across the globe and the United States especially has been hit hard. According to the New York Times:
In North America, up to 40 percent of crop-loss insurance claims are due to heavy or moderate drought, according to some estimates. Worldwide, corn-growing regions lose about 15 percent of their annual crop to drought, and losses run much higher in severe conditions
There's big money is selling a GM corn crop to desperate farmers. Even bigger money considering that the seeds are patented and can't be replanted so Monsanto gets paid by farmers year after year. But it's unclear to me why when the USDA has openly said that the seed doesn't perform well, would they want it on the market. According to the USDA as seen on the New York Times:
"The reduced yield [trait] does not exceed the natural variation observed in regionally-adapted varieties of conventional corn," the report says, adding that "Equally comparable varieties produced through conventional breeding techniques are readily available in irrigated corn production regions."
The USDA deems the crop safe for the environment and for humans though according to Natural News, it has never been tested on humans. So in the end the USDA will likely approve a corn for deregulation that's both ineffective, could cause contamination with non-gm varieties, and we're not sure the impact on humans down the road. This is especially scary considering that already approved GM corn crop varieties have been shown to cause organ damage in mammals.
The USDA is currently taking comments on Monsanto's petition so get your opinion in.
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