This summer, your sweet corn might have traces of a notorious toxin. Find out how to avoid it.

It came from the fields

With June fast approaching, we’re just a few weeks away from sweet corn season.

That sounds enticing, but not if you make the mistake that hundreds of thousands will make this summer.

They’ll sit down to a steaming plate of Frankencorn.

Seriously. This stuff is a monster. It’s not only genetically modified. It’s TWICE modified. And the second modification is only there to solve a problem created by the first modification.

But doubling up on GM isn’t even the most disturbing part. The worst is that it might contain traces of one of the most notorious toxins in history.

Yes, It’s THAT bad. And it’s the LAST thing you want on your dinner plate.

No ordinary orange

Years ago, the agri-business giant Monsanto brought an evil spawn into the world — Roundup Ready crops. It was genetically modified (GM) to survive drenchings of Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer.

If “evil spawn” sounds a little overdramatic, well… I’m sure we could find thousands of farmers who would agree.

More recently, Monsanto introduced RR seed for sweet corn. That’s the corn you buy in bins at your local supermarket. But this corn has a little something extra. Scientists modified the genes to include a trait called Bt.

Bt kills insects.

That’s right. Sweet corn. On your dinner table. Genetically modified. Drenched in weed killer. Infused with insecticide.

Scary? Oh, I’m just getting warmed up…

With RR, Monsanto scientists believed they’d outsmarted Mother Nature. (Have none of these guys seen horror movies? Mother Nature eats scientists for breakfast.)

But with the greatest of ease, Mother Nature responded with something new under the sun: RR-resistant superweeds. These sturdy, fast-growing weeds have turned into an overwhelming problem. Some farmers actually abandon their fields to these stubborn monsters.

That’s where a component of Agent Orange comes in. Yes, I’m talking about THAT Agent Orange — the highly toxic defoliant used during the Vietnam War.

The Agent Orange component is called 2,4-D. It’s a poison that kills superweeds. But it can only be used very early or very late in the growing season. Otherwise, it kills the corn. So Dow (the maker of 2,4-D) has developed a GM corn that’s 2,4-D-resistant.

Oh sure! Great plan! That means corn crops can be drenched in this potent superweed-killing toxin throughout the growing season.

This is beyond mind-boggling! Has nobody at Dow realized that this is the VERY SAME PLAN that created the superweed problem?

The difference is that the next generation of superweeds will be superweeds on steroids. And what “solution” will Dow or Monsanto give us then? Napalm-resistant crops? Radiation-resistant crops?

Meanwhile, back at our dinner tables, traces of 2,4-D might affect us in any number of ways. But here’s a potential clue. After Vietnam, Agent Orange use was linked to cancer and birth defects. And if that’s a terrifying notion, then you might enjoy this quote from CBS News…

“Dow says the herbicide is perfectly safe, citing numerous government approvals.”

Perfectly safe! I don’t know whether to laugh or weep. Is there anyone naive enough to take comfort in that statement? And “government approvals?” That idea might have been reassuring 50 years ago. But not in 2013. No way.

So, if you can, buy your sweet corn from a local farmer this summer. A small farmer. A farmer who plants the old-fashioned way — with real corn seed. Not Frankencorn.

Sources:
“Controversy flares over ‘Agent Orange corn'” Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News, 6/12/12, cbsnews.com

“Why Monsanto Thought Weeds Would Never Defeat Roundup” Daniel Charles, NPR, 3/11/12, npr.org

“Monsanto enters into market for fresh sweet corn” P.J. Huffstutter, Los Angeles Times, 8/5/11, latimes.com

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