FoodFacts.com has been trying to keep up with the latest news regarding genetically modified food products and ingredients so that we can bring that news directly to our community. Today we learned that Wal-Mart has officially agreed to sell genetically modified sweet corn to its customers.
The world’s largest retailer with consumer reach and influence throughout the industry has effectively taken a public stance on the sale of genetically modified fresh food. While public awareness of GM products is at a high and consumers are becoming more and more conscious of the GMO debate, Wal-Mart has placed the subject matter front and center in its produce aisles.
The first crops of genetically modified sweet corn from Monsanto are being harvested right now. This is the corn Wal-Mart will be stocking in their produce departments. It is the same sweet corn that both Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods refused to purchase and sell to their customers.
But according to company representative Dianna Gee, Wal-Mart looked at the GMO issue from both sides and “and after collaborating with a number of respected food safety experts, we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement restrictions on this product.” Sadly it appears that the petition they received from Food & Water Watch with almost half a million signatures from consumers emphatically opposed to Wal-Mart’s plans to sell the Monsanto sweet corn couldn’t sway them.
Monsanto maintains that there are important reasons for genetically modified sweet corn – overall, sweet corn accounts for less than 1 percent of all corn acreage in the U.S., but is also responsible for 40% of all corn insecticide treatments. This new genetically modified sweet corn can reduce insecticide use on sweet corn by up to 85%.
The strong opposition to genetically modified foods maintains that there have been more reports that GM foods might be hazardous to our health, than those that prove those foods have no affect on our health. While studies continue on an ongoing basis, there are various pieces of information that cannot be explained that may, in fact, point to our consumption of genetically modified foods. For instance, food allergies have doubled since 1996. Obesity has increased widely throughout the United States. We have no concrete way of knowing if these situations are in any way connected to genetically modified foods. Food manufacturers are not required to label their ingredients as genetically modified. And it all leads to concerned consumers who are very confused about how to avoid this unwelcome entry into our food supply.
And now, sadly, Wal-Mart will be adding to that confusion. And keep your eyes and ears open for the other retailers that may follow suit. It appears that Safeway and Kroger are avoiding answering the question of whether or not they may be purchasing the Monsanto sweet corn as well.
FoodFacts.com will stay on top of this new Monsanto produce product and report to our community anytime we hear of another retailer introducing the sweet corn on their produce shelves. Read more here: http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-08-04/news/ct-met-gmo-sweet-corn-20120804_1_sweet-corn-food-allergies-patty-lovera