Opinion: Monsanto’s upcoming GM product is unsafe

Hank Venetta

Hank Venetta

Hank Venetta is a senior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact Hank Venetta at [email protected].

“These huge cans of fresh corn are only 89 cents? No way, man!”

Yes, way. And here’s how:

Monsanto — a biotech corporation that boasts a track record of lawsuits involving the mistreatment of farmers, environmental contamination and animal abuse (not to try and discredit them or anything) — is going to release a new product harmful to your health.

Sorry kids, but this food will even make the lunch lady at your school roll her eyes.

The company, which produces 90 percent of all GM food seeds, also manufactures genetically modified corn. The crop is normally used in processed foods such as corn syrup and snacks. Soon, however, the corn is going to be directly available in cans at your local supermarkets.

Monsanto is currently in talks with food distributors to allow the sale of its No. 1 product. If things go as planned, it will hit shelves in fall 2012.

First, I’ll address why this GM corn is harmful. For one thing, I don’t think enough scientific research has firmly established the safety of consuming these products. GM foods are a very recent development, and no one has seen its long-term effects.

Also, the corn has been designed to resist heavy exposure to herbicides including Round-Up. Why would they design a crop resistant to chemicals? Hmm. Well, probably because they’re spraying the crop with them.

Real corn dies from herbicides because it is a living thing. For Franken-food, on the other hand, it’s good to go, and soon you will be eating absorbed Round-Up in a can.

What kind of fool would buy this product? Someone who deserves it, right? Consumer responsibility and all that jazz?

Nice try. Genetically tampered foods do not have to be labeled in the United States because that would reduce the number of sales. Therefore, consumers won’t know what they will be eating. They will spot the lowest-priced corn and buy it. That’s simply how it works.

Some people think it’s 100 percent the consumer’s fault for what they eat. News flash: That’s kind of silly. The grocery store is littered with mystery ingredients marked at a low price. If you are a middle-to-upper class suburbanite, you might want to adjust your skewed perspective on eating habits and who’s at fault. Wallets short on cash encourages shoppers to buy unsafe food.

Direct your eyes to Monsanto. If its product hits shelves, it will be a cornerstone for the corporations’ ability to release similar products onto the market.

You’ve heard this before, and I know it might sound corny, but everyone can make a difference. There are petitions online for two important issues:

1. Stopping the new product I have described

2. Getting GM foods labeled by law

You can sign a petition online at the Center for Environmental Health website.

A significant step toward the degradation of food standards in America is imminent if consumers do not voice their concerns. If enough voices are heard, then this dangerous product can be cornered and banned from the market.