photo: Arvind Grover/CC BY-SA
Genetically modified corn is already in the many of your non-organic products, thanks to corn being on the ingredient list in one of its many forms. But now Monsanto will be launching a GM sweet corn intended for direct human consumption and which is resistant to Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. LA Times reports:
The hybrid has genetic modifications that have three additional traits that allow it resistance to insects and the Roundup herbicide -- is the company's first foray into the relatively small market for this sort of produce. (Farmers plant about 250,000 acres of sweet corn for human consumption in the U.S., according to analysts and company officials. Corn raised to be turned into sugar, oil, animal feed or used as fibers makes up 92.3 million acres in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.)
Monsanto's Consuelo Madere told LA Times that Monsanto did not expect much consumer outcry over the introduction, as its rival Syngenta has been marketing GM sweet corn for the past ten years.
I don't think that's probably the reason shoppers won't object to this GM corn. More likely it's because 1) the corn won't be marketed as Monsanto corn, 2) it won't be labeled as genetically modified by retailers, and 3) most consumers are, though a combination of omission and deliberate obfuscation by Big Ag, not well informed about GM crops (both their ubiquity in non-organic products and their potential personal and environmental health effects).
Monsanto told Fast Company, "Just as they do today, consumers will continue to have the ability to purchase corn from growers or retailers of their choice that provide the quality they are looking for."
Which is frankly a bullshit, dodge of a response to the question of whether GM crops should be labeled or not--considering that Monsanto and other GM crop companies have strongly fought efforts to make labeling of GM ingredients mandatory in the US.
As always, if you want to avoid GM crops (which I think you should, for many reasons) your best best is to only buy organic produce and if possible know your farmer and their practices.