Monsanto is at it again: The biggest vegetable seed producer in the world is going to see its genetically modified sweet corn hit store shelves this fall in the United States. Though the biotech company has been producing and selling its controversial GM corn, alfalfa and other seeds to farmers, this is the first time one of its products will be marketed directly to consumers.
What's so special about the new corn? It looks exactly like regular corn. Probably tastes the same, too. But this baby will be genetically altered by the inclusion of Bt, a toxin that disturbs insects' digestive tracts and kills them. Bt is harmless when applied to plants, and it doesn't pose any danger to humans when used that way.
I've recommended it many times as a stand-in for synthetic pesticides. But do we know enough about its effect on humans when it's part of our food at the cellular level? I'm no scientist, but I do know one thing: These things can take lifetimes, even generations, to show adverse effects. The FDA took years to approve stevia, an herb, as a sugar substitute, for goodness' sake, though it's been used safely in Japan for decades. Something just doesn't add up here.
Up until now, GM corn was used only for grain, and other approved biotech foods were used only to produce animal feed, oils and sugars, which, if you ask me, is bad enough. But this corn will be sold on the cob, right there in the grocery store produce aisle. And you'll have no way of knowing.
So, to borrow a question from psychologists and life coaches everywhere, how does that make you feel?