Mmm. The Monsanto webpage says - "producing more conserving more improving lives That's sustainable agriculture and that's what Monsanto is all about." Nothing wrong with that mission statement, is there?
Monsanto enters into market for fresh sweet corn explains this is the first time the biogiant has genetically engineered a corn intended for consumers. This new variant has three genetic changes that make it resistant to insects and Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. Other variants have been used for industrial production and livestock consumption, but this is the first intended for consumers. (The non-consumer variant has been planted since 1994.) In The Revenge of the Weeds, I blogged about genetic changes that Monsanto engineers to produce a plant that is Roundup-resistant.
Enough Tricks: Consumers Speak Up Against Monsanto's GE Sweet Corn tells that consumer advocates are alarmed that the product will not be labeled as genetically modified. A coalition of several groups has collected petition signatures and asking retailers and food processors to refuse the genetically engineered corn. The coalition tells that General Mills and Trader Joe's has responded favorably to their request.
In the graphic above from the USDA, HT corresponds to herbicide resistant and Bt corresponds to insect resistant. The new Monsanto sweet corn incorporates both of these traits.
It is complicated isn't it? Very likely without the innovation of biotechs, we will not be able to feed this planet of 7 billion humans, far exceeding the estimates of Thomas Robert Malthus. On the other hand, we are witnessing genetic pollution. In one example, a genetically engineered flax variant, believed to have been destroyed, has escaped into the wild. We have experienced environmental catastrophes with invasive species, that are natural, and not man-made. Imagine the havoc that could be produced by a manmade species. Mmm. As I said, it is complicated.