Prop. 37 Would Tell You What’s “Inside” Walmart’s GMO Corn

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A vote on California’s ground-breaking Proposition 37, which would require the labeling of genetically modified products, is months away, but Monsanto’s toxin-spliced sweet corn may be on your dinner table this summer courtesy of Walmart.

Walmart confirmed to the Chicago Tribune two weeks ago that it would be selling the new DNA-adjusted crop created by biotech giant Monsanto, although earlier this year Whole Foods, Trader Joe and General Mills said they would take a pass on the product. Retail grocers Safeway and Kroger did not respond to Tribune inquiries as to their plans.

Although Walmart told the newspaper “we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement restrictions on this product,” concerns about genetically engineered food are growing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said GMOs pose no greater health risks than traditional foods, but critics say pre-market safety testing is woefully lacking. They cite resistance to even the dispay of a simple label as evidence of the industry’s unwillingness to be transparent and forthcoming.

Some proponents of labels point to health experts who think GMOs may be related to allergies and other health risks. Others want to take a more cautious, studied approach to such a fundamental change in the food chain. And still others simply want to prevent genetically modified food from being legally labeled “organic” or “natural.”

The Monsanto product has built-in DNA resistance to a common herbicide, the company’s own Roundup and its active ingredient glyphosate. This allows farmers to kill weeds without destroying the corn. It also contains a built-in toxin known to repulse certain pests. The corn is being harvested now in the Midwest, Southeast, Northeast and Texas.

Prop. 37, one of 11 initiatives on California’s November ballot, would require labels on most processed food by 2014 identifying ingredients from agricultural products with genetically altered DNA. Food and alcohol in restaurants would be exempt, as would food from animals that have been eating the modified ingredients.

Biotechnology and pesticide companies oppose GMO labeling, saying their products are safe and labels would just alarm consumers. The European Union and Japan already require that GMOs be labeled, while in this country 95% of sugar beets are genetically engineered, as are 94% of soybeans and 88% of feed corn—all of it unlabeled.

The corn is the first product from Monsanto that goes straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, as opposed to being processed and packaged in another form.

–Ken Broder


To Learn More:

Prop 37 Solution to Walmart’s Untested, Unlabeled, Toxin Spliced Corn (by Zack Kaldveer, The Bay Citizen)

Monsanto's Bt GMO Corn to be Sold at Wal-Mart with no Indication It Is Genetically Modified (by Ethan A. Huff, Natural News)

Walmart OK's Monsanto GM Corn (by Monica Eng, Chicago Tribune)

Overuse of Genetically Engineered Bt Corn Tied to Accelerated Resistance (Beyond Pesticides Daily News)

Whole Foods Accused of Accepting Genetically Modified Foods (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)

Monsanto Leads the Charge against GMO Labeling (by Ken Broder, AllGov)

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