If you did, you would want to read this article. Monsanto is a vast corporation specializing in all sorts of GM produce seeds- they also work hard to drive small farms out of business. They announced their plans to sell genetically modified sweet corn recently.
However, their GM corn is not labeled, making it hard to avoid. Still, most corn is not GMO, but there is no way to tell unless you test the corn in a lab.
Why You Want to Avoid It
Monsanto corn contains toxins that protect their crop from insects, but these pesticides are harmful to people who eat them. In particular, Monsanto uses Bt protein. It is designed to kill any insect that eats the corn.
The company claims that the protein should break down before you get the produce home. However, that may not be the case. Trace amounts of Bt could still be present in the corn you eat.
Bt corn is modified to produce a natural insecticide that can not be washed away. Other species of sweet corn created by the company are genetically altered to handle harsh herbicides. Monsanto corn can now tolerate glyphosate, a potent toxin ingredient in weed killers.
This means that herbicides can be sprayed across fields to kill weeds, often right onto the corn that you will be eating later. That is problematic for several reasons, the most significant being that herbicides could directly harm your health and wellbeing.
GM sweet corn will often be genetically modified to produce Bt and resist herbicides, allowing Monsanto farmers to potentially spray their produce with Roundup.
The Monsanto Roundup Lawsuit
Roundup, a herbicide used by Monsanto, has been linked with cancer. The ingredient glyphosate is likely what causes it. In 2019, Roundup users filed a lawsuit against Monsanto, stating that they had got non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma from the chemical. Despite settling and losing many trials, Monsanto still holds firm that Roundup is not a carcinogen.
In the settlement, Monsanto never admitted to doing anything wrong. Roundup is still one of the most used herbicides in the United States, meaning it could be used on the produce you purchase from the store.
Monsanto does spray their sweet corn with Roundup since it makes it much easier to get rid of weeds that would otherwise harm the crops. You do not want to consume this carcinogen, which makes it essential to avoid the corporation’s produce.
Monsanto and Small Farms
If you want to support small, local farms, you would not want to support Monsanto. They have filed hundreds of lawsuits against American farmers, many of whom worked on small farms. The corporation requires that those who buy their GM seeds sign contracts.
What is in these contracts? Well, they are extensive and cover a lot. The biggest issue comes from the contract not allowing farmers to save the seeds that they buy. Farmers who do are then sued for patent infringement, which requires they pay several thousand dollars in damages.
Farmers usually will save their seeds, which has been practiced as a farming technique for hundreds of years. By putting this in their contact, Monsanto forces family farms to buy new and expensive seeds every year. The worst part? If they stop using the seeds, they will be again at risk of breaking the contract, which would lead to more fines.
In short, the company has many questionable business practices, on top of using harmful chemicals. Monsanto earns millions of dollars from farmers who violate the terms of their contracts. They have designed many controversial chemical products, too, including bovine growth hormones, Agent Orange, DDT, and PCBs.
Overall, you do not want to buy Monsanto corn. Their GMO includes Bt and genetic alterations that allow their crops to not be harmed when sprayed with chemicals like Roundup. Plus, the company does not treat small farms well, setting them up with unfair contracts and charging them for damages when the terms are broken.
Did you eat Monsanto sweet corn this summer? It can be difficult to tell if you have eaten GM corn, as it does not have to be labeled at the store. The best way to avoid it is to eat organic corn, or corn that IS labeled as non-GMO.