Friends of the Earth recently did a sampling of fresh, frozen, and canned sweet corn available at US supermarkets and farmers’ markets, to gauge the presence of GMO sweet corn, a direct Frankenfood, in our food supply.
Although some varieties of GM sweet corn have been approved for commercialization in the US for over fifteen years, it wasn’t until the 2011 commercialization of Monsanto’s Seminis Performance Series variety that anyone’s made a real push to infect the food supply with this direct food GMO product. (Most GM corn is field corn, not used directly for human food, but destined for animal feed in factory farms, ethanol, and processed food.) This Monsanto product is a multi-poison “stacked variety”, internally oozing its own Bt poison and resistant to glyphosate. Herbicide tolerant GMOs merely assimilate the herbicide. So when you eat this product it has heavy internal concentrations of two poisons. You can’t wash them off – they’re contained within the cells of the food.
This preliminary result was better in the US than in Canada. In the US, 2 of 71 samples tested positive, while a similar study performed by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network found 15 of 43 Canadian samples to be infected. It’s a relatively less bad result in the US, for the moment.
But unless consumers are active in telling retailers we won’t buy this poison and will shun a retailer who tries secretly to spike our food with it, the product’s prevalence will gradually creep upward. At the same time, cultivated Frankencorn will contaminate organic and conventional varieties of sweet corn, just as corn has already been contaminated extensively in its geographical center of origin, and one of its primary centers of diversity, Mexico.