According to Business Insider, Walmart recently signed a deal with Monsanto to begin carrying Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt sweet corn, and will soon stock their shelves with the un-labeled, pesticide-laced GMO corn.
“After closely looking at both sides of the debate and collaborating with a number of respected food safety experts, we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement restrictions on this product,” Walmart told the Chicago Tribune.
The USDA approved Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt sweet corn at the beginning of the year. This is the agri-giant’s first GMO corn product made available directly to consumers.
Monsanto’s GMO Bt sweet corn will also be used in canned and frozen foods, and will be indistinguishable from natural corn because the FDA does not require genetically altered food products to be labeled.
Thanks to consumer pressure from several large activist groups, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s and General Mills have all agreed to not use Monsanto’s GM sweet corn in any of their products. But Wal-Mart is holding out.
The Monsanto’s sweet corn Walmart will carry contains Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins which is registered with the EPA as a pesticide, and is lethal to certain insects.
“Consumers deserve to know what’s in their food, especially when there is a pesticide in every bite,” said Charles Margulis of the Center for Environmental Health.
“This whole, unprocessed corn has been spliced with genes that produce a risky, untested insecticide. Parents should be informed when food on supermarket shelves has been genetically altered.”
Wal-mart’s decision to stock Monsanto’s genetically engineered Bt sweet corn comes at a time when the battle over labeling genetically modified foods is being waged in Connecticut, where HB Bill 5117 would require the labeling of products containing GMOs.
A fight to require GMO labeling is also being fought in California, where a similar labeling attempt is being made with proposition 37, scheduled for a November vote.
Monsanto’s Bug-Resistant Corn No Logger Effective
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there’s “mounting evidence” that Monsanto’s corn that’s genetically modified to control insects is losing its effectiveness.
The EPA commented in response to questions about a scientific study that found western corn rootworms on two Illinois farms had developed resistance to insecticide produced by Monsanto’s corn.
“There is mounting evidence raising concerns that insect resistance is developing in parts of the corn belt,” the EPA said.
Bloomberg reports the agency’s latest statement on rootworm resistance comes a year after the problem was first documented and just as U.S. corn yields are forecast to be the lowest in 17 years amid drought in the Corn Belt.
“Corn fields in four states — Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota and Nebraska — were overrun by rootworm last year, prompting the EPA to say in a November memo that Monsanto’s bug-killing corn may be losing its effectiveness.”
GMO’s Dangerous to Human Health
Evidence mounts almost daily implicating genetically modified (GM) crops as a significant risk to human health.
Recent studies reveal that Monsanto’s glyphosate-containing herbicide Roundup is toxic to human DNA even when diluted to concentrations 450-fold lower than used in agricultural applications.
“This effect is likely due to the presence of the surfactant polyoxyethyleneamine within the Roundup formulation which may dramatically enhance the absorption of glyphosate into exposed human cells and tissue.”
Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, has been found in most U.S. air and rain samples.
With over 88,000 tons of glyphosate used in the US in 2007, and with an expanding volume being applied to increasingly glyphosate-resistant GM crops, the problem of exposure is only going to get worse.
Of all the adverse health effects the genotoxicity (DNA-damaging) of glyphosate is the most concerning, and the most consistently supported by the evidence.
“Accumulating research indicates Monsanto’s most popular herbicide is contributing to cancer, and that all GM-produced food which is engineered “Roundup Ready” and saturated with glyphosate residues is a cancer risk.”