The battle over labeling genetically modified foods (GMOs) wages on. In Connecticut, HB Bill 5117 would of products containing GMOs and in California proposition 37 is slated for a November vote with the hopes of doing the same.
To add more dissent , Walmart recently signed a deal with Monsanto to begin carrying a new corn variety, according to Business Insider. The corn is genetically modified to withstand excessive amounts of pesticides and herbicides. Specifically, those pesticides and herbicides manufactured by Monsanto itself.
The Monsanto Company is an agricultural biotechnology corporation that has cornered the market on producing genetically engineered (GE) seed. It also is the world’s leading producer of the herbicide glyphosate, otherwise known as “Roundup," according to the company's website.
The Monsanto sweet corn that Walmart will be carrying also contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins. These toxins are lethal to certain insects. Bt is registered with the EPA as a pesticide. As such, it technically makes the corn itself a pesticide.
According to Monsanto’s website, the company claims that the Bt protein in its corn, “Enables farmers to reduce their number of insecticide applications they make on their sweet corn by almost 85 percent. This reduces the chance for soil and groundwater contamination, which is important for farmers and their families. It also means sweet corn farmers don’t have to drive their tractors as often, which reduces their use of gasoline and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions.”
For a local CT farmer’s take on GMOs, , one of the leading supporters of the GMO labeling bill in Connecticut.
Walmart has stated that it will not label the sweet corn. The company is suggesting that customers who want GMO-free corn should purchase organic varieties instead.
Click here for a Non-GMO shopping guide if you are interested in avoiding GMOs. This guide is also available as a downloadable app for your smart phone.