Match made in GMO heaven
Monsanto has a new best friend and he goes by the name of Walmart.
Back in 2006, Walmart emerged as an unexpected ally in the mission to make organic foods available to as many people as possible. They pledged to make a bigger selection of organic foods available and to set their prices only 10 percent higher than conventional foods.
But now it seems they’re swinging in the opposite direction.
Earlier this month, Walmart announced that it’s going to start selling a new kind of genetically modified sweet corn brought to you by GMO giant Monsanto.
The corn has been tinkered with to make it resistant to a common herbicide, so farmers can spray their crops to their hearts’ content. It also contains a toxin designed to keep pests away.
Monsanto points out those farmers that plant this frankencorn could reduce insecticide applications by 85 percent. Sure they can. But that’s because the corn ITSELF is a pesticide. The word “gross” doesn’t begin to cover it here.
We can just choose not to buy it, right? Well, that would be the case if you COULD figure out which corn is the modified variety.
You see, the FDA doesn’t require labeling for GMOs. No, if you want that kind of information you’ll need to move to the European Union, Russia, Australia, Japan, or…get this… China. That’s right—we have less control over whether GMO products end up on our plates than consumers in CHINA.
A Walmart rep says that they looked at both sides of the GMO debate and arrived at the conclusion that there were “no scientifically validated safety reasons” to turn Monsanto down.
But here’s the problem with that reasoning. These foods simply haven’t been tested enough in humans yet. And a few animal studies, which hint at possible negative effects, are troubling at best. If you ask me this alone is reason enough to hold off on carrying the corn.
But that’s not the only reason Walmart should have just said no to this corn. Because of the lack of required labeling, it’s nearly impossible to track whether or not genetically modified foods have any adverse effects or safety risks. GMOs could be making people sick, and we might never know it because we can’t tell which foods are GMOs and which are un-tampered with.
There are a few clues, though. Food allergies are on the rise. In fact, according to one expert they have doubled since 1996. Some people point to GMOs as a possible culprit. But when there’s no labeling, we can’t know for sure.
The best way to avoid this GMO corn…and any genetically modified foods for that matter…is to look for items labeled “organic.” Until we get the labeling we desperately need to make truly informed decisions it’s really the only way to avoid becoming an unwilling test subject.
P.S. Keep reading for a reason to spend time out in the sun.
“Walmart And Monsanto Team Up To Sell Genetically Modified Sweet Corn,” The Consumerist (consumerist.com)