by Marion Nestle
Jul 6 2009

GM crops: up, up, and away

The USDA has just released the latest figures on planting of genetically modified soybeans, corn, and cotton in the United States.  GM varieties comprise 60-70% of all corn and cotton, and 90% of soybeans.  On this basis, if a food containing corn or soybeans is not labeled Certified Organic or GM-free, you should assume it is GM.

(posted from Scagway, en route to fairbanks)

  • This is depressing… wonder how many manufacturers will “miss” this and still label things as organic or GM-free? Is it even possible anymore?

  • So, so frustrating that we have no control over how the food we eat is grown…unless we grow it ourselves…and even then we need to hope a devilish little Monsanto seed doesn’t blow into the garden.

  • Foodaroo

    I’ve been wondering about Mark’s comment for a very long time. Part of the reason has to do with the demand for transfat free oil. Vistive is a transfat free soybean oil made by Monsonto. But I don’t think there is much more people can do about fighting GMO.

    1) Japan is okay with GMO, and Japan has been resistant about GMO for a very long time.

    2) GMO rice is already on the market.

    3) Mission corn tortillas, which are primarily sold in Mexico and in the US, are made with GMO corn.

    4) And GMO fruits and vegetables are just around the corner.

  • Janet Camp

    Marion, I’m not sure what your take on GM is (have read your books but don’t own them, so can’t look it up right now). Personally, while I find the idea offensive, it is my understanding that there is no evidence of harm, but also that perhaps, not enough research has been done to date?

    It does seem to be a losing battle–kind of like single payer healthcare. In both cases, prevailing corporate interests trump the welfare and will of the people.

  • Daniee

    Why should I buy gourmet foods online when there are plenty of shops selling these products?

  • Daniee@ You can’t buy a choice of purely Australian made gourmet food without visiting a number of shops. But you can buy a wide range of Australian gourmet food from one website only, Australian Tru Blue.

  • JaneBeans

    GMO foods are not safe. Common sense tells us this, as does research.

  • Russell

    GM crops have show to be safe and effective tools to produce healthy and abundant food. They are by no means a magic bullet to the worlds problems, but they are an important tool that can be used to help alleviate hunger, reduce chemical inputs and address changes in the climate.

    Fear of technology is inherent in many people, but if we apply that same weariness to everything, we would be without medicine, artificial harts, televisions, radios, planes and automobiles. None of these have been proven 100% safe, which is what many people are asking biotechnology developers to do.

  • Matt

    There’s really no reason to be afraid of the current generation of primitively-engineered crops. Crops like corn and broccoli are already radically different from their ancestors. One more resistance gene won’t hurt anything.