Most of the corn grown in Illinois is genetically modified corn.  It’s genetically altered to withstand insect attack or to live through certain herbicide applications.  New varieties are genetically altered to perform under stressful conditions like last year’s drought.

Although this technology makes some customers skeptical, hybridization of crops has been happening for years and years.  In fact, the history of the Illinois Corn Growers Association starts before 1900 sometime when groups of farmers would come together for a fall meeting to trade their best ears of corn.  Those kernels from other parts of the state would grow and pollinate with kernels the farmer already had to continually produce the best corn – ear size, stalk quality, performance under stress were all factors when farmers selected their very best ears.

Years later, we shorten the process by choosing genes that we know are insect resistant, herbicide resistant, drought resistant and inserting them into our plants.  And some remain unsure that the research has been done to prove these foods safe.

But this recent article in Forbes magazine begs the opposite.  In fact, the author says that to believe GMO foods remain untested is to blatantly ignore the truth.

A team of Italian scientists recently summarized 1783 studies about the safety and environmental impacts of GMO foods—”a staggering number.

“The researchers couldn’t find a single credible example demonstrating that GM foods pose any harm to humans or animals. ‘The scientific research conducted so far has not detected any significant hazards directly connected with the use of genetically engineered crops,’ the scientists concluded.”

So, the bottom line is here is that luckily, we live in America where (to date) everyone is allowed the choice to purchase the foods they love and feel most comfy with.  But to argue that GMO foods aren’t tested enough to prove their safety is to argue against conventionally grown crops based on fear and marketing.

I know its October – the season for sugar – but there’s just no sugar coating this.

mitchell_lindsayLindsay Mitchell
ICGA/ICMB Marketing Director

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