July 11, 2013 Summertime reminder: Beware of Monsanto’s GM sweet corn with built-in pesticides
Summer is well underway in the Northern Hemisphere, which for many Americans means lots of time spent swimming, picnicking, going to festivals and street fairs, and visiting amusement parks – not to mention all the junk food consumption that typically goes along with these activities. But one popular summertime food that you may want to avoid this year is sweet corn, as it may be a product of biotechnology bigwig Monsanto.
As we reported early last year, Monsanto unveiled the world’s second genetically-modified (GM) variety of sweet corn for direct human consumption – Switzerland-based Syngenta introduced the first, but on a very limited scale. Monsanto’s variety was to be quietly introduced into the consumer market during the summer of 2012, unlabeled of course, beginning at Walmart stores across the country and spreading from there.
Roughly a year later, and not much else has been said about Monsanto’s sweet corn, which leads us to believe that it is being stocked right now on grocery store shelves as “conventional” corn. Since GMOs do not have to be labeled in the U.S., there is really no way to tell whether or not corn is natural or GM, unless, of course, it is certified organic.
But most of the corn being sold at fairs and street festivals is not organic, which means that all those grilled cobs, smoked and lathered in butter, are more than likely chock full of Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) insecticide and other harmful poisons. Monsanto’s Bt sweet corn, in case you were unaware, grows its own Bt insecticide right inside every kernel of corn, which means you and your family are ingesting toxins in every bite.
“The GE sweet corn is the first consumer product developed by Monsanto that will go straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, rather than first being processed into animal feed, sugars, oils, fibers and other ingredients found in a wide variety of conventional food,” explains NationOfChange.org. “The product is also designed to produce a Bt toxin that will kill insects that feed on the plant.”
Avoid all non-organic sweet corn this summer
So what can you do to avoid this GM sweet corn? Since labeling is still not a requirement, your best bet is to simply avoid all conventional sweet corn. This includes also conventional corn cobs sold at your neighborhood grocery store, all corn sold at the fair – any corn that is not certified organic, or that is not labeled as non-GMO, should be avoided.
Bt toxin, after all, has been shown to harm non-target species like humans, despite industry claims to the contrary. A 2011 study out of Canada, for instance, revealed that Bt toxin accumulates in human blood, proving that this chemical is not broken down in the digestive tract as is claimed by Monsanto. Once in the blood system, Bt toxin can disrupt proper organ function and cause long-term health problems.
Then there is the issue of glyphosate (Roundup) and other applied chemicals, which are commonly used on GM crops. Besides accumulating in the environment and damaging critical ecosystems, these chemicals also accumulate in the human body where they damage reproductive, neurological, organ, digestive, and other important systems.
“In a 2012 test-tube (in vitro) study, genetically engineered Bt toxins were found to be toxic to human cells,” explains a comprehensive report on GMOs put out by the group Earth Open Source. “One type of Bt toxin killed human cells at the dose of 100 parts per million. The findings shows that GM Bt toxin does affect humans, contrary to claims from the GM lobby and regulators.”
You can read the full Earth Open Source report, GMO Myths and Truths, here:
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