Monsanto rolls out GMO sweet corn - The Packer

Monsanto rolls out GMO sweet corn

08/17/2011 09:54:00 AM
Andy Nelson

Vegetable seed giant Monsanto Co. is entering the genetically modified sweet corn market, but how soon consumers will get over their fear of GMOs remains to be seen.

Creve Coeur, Mo.-based Monsanto will sell GMO sweet corn for plantings this fall, said Danielle Stuart, a company spokeswoman.

The seed, to be sold under Monsanto’s Seminis Performance Series label, protects against European corn borers, corn earworms, fall army worms and corn rootworm larvae and is resistant to Roundup weed control herbicides, Stuart said.

Boise, Idaho-based Rogers Brand Vegetable Seeds, a division of Basel, Switzerland-based Syngenta International AG, introduced its Attribute brand GMO sweet corn seed in 1998.

Even after 13 years, however, consumer resistance to GMO sweet corn remains high, grower-shippers say.

E. Miedema & Sons, Byron Center, Mich., uses GMO seed on about 100 of its 700 sweet corn acres, said Dave Miedema, the company’s president.

GMO seed provides good disease and pest protection, Miedema said, but consumer resistance has checked category growth.

“It definitely has a place, but you always have to be careful,” he said. “Certain customers won’t accept it.”

GMO sweet corn has been the victim of propaganda, not legitimate criticism, Miedema said.

“It’s just PR,” he said. “It’s silly. It’s just people’s perceptions.”

Miedema said consumers’ attitudes toward GMOs haven’t changed much in recent years.

Those attitudes will likely change, but it hasn’t happened yet, said John Gill, owner of Hurley, N.Y.-based Gill Corn Farms Inc.

Because of consumer resistance, Gill Corn Farms doesn’t grow any GMO sweet corn.

People already eat plenty of GMO foods, including grains and chicken, Gill said. That’s one of the reasons he thinks they’ll eventually come around on sweet corn and other produce commodities.

GMO foods are not only safe, Gill said. They’re also environmentally friendly, since they require fewer pesticides.

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USA  |  August, 17, 2011 at 11:23 AM

I would like to ask John Gill how he knows that GMO foods are safe? Because Monsanto told him? There is NO testing to prove that altering a plant's DNA with the Roundup Ready bacteria is safe. Anything that has to do with a chemical like Roundup is not environmentally safe. The crops are sprayed with Roundup to kill everything but the crop itself because it has been genetically modified to resist the roundup. Both John Gill and Dave Miedema AND Monsanto all rely on the public to remain ignorant and not do their research. The consumer fought against antibiotics in meat and milk, and they will do the same against GMO's.

August, 19, 2011 at 01:23 PM

"There is NO testing to prove that altering a plant's DNA with the Roundup Ready bacteria is safe. Anything that has to do with a chemical like Roundup is not environmentally safe. " O, Hypocrisy. So do YOU have any scienctific research from a reliable independent body demonstrating how Round Up is dnagerous aside from anecdotal, "OMG! ORGANIC COMPANIES AREN'T MAKIGN MONEY OFF IT SO IT'S BAD FOR TEH ENVIRONMENTZ!!!111"? Didn't think so.

August, 19, 2011 at 01:23 PM

"There is NO testing to prove that altering a plant's DNA with the Roundup Ready bacteria is safe. Anything that has to do with a chemical like Roundup is not environmentally safe. " O, Hypocrisy. So do YOU have any scienctific research from a reliable independent body demonstrating how Round Up is dnagerous aside from anecdotal, "OMG! ORGANIC COMPANIES AREN'T MAKIGN MONEY OFF IT SO IT'S BAD FOR TEH ENVIRONMENTZ!!!111"? Didn't think so.

USA  |  August, 17, 2011 at 11:29 AM

Here is an article in the Huffington Post called "Monsanto's GMO Corn Linked Organ Failure, Study Reveals."

Vegan Hypocrisy 101    
August, 19, 2011 at 01:26 PM

"Here is an article in the Huffington Post called "Monsanto's GMO Corn Linked Organ Failure, Study Reveals." " And you think a political dogmatist publication which has Deepak Chopra on its staff and regularly employs baseless propaganda about how vaccines cause autism as a reliable scientific journal?

USA  |  August, 17, 2011 at 02:38 PM

@Alexa "The crops are sprayed with Roundup to kill everything but the crop itself because it has been genetically modified to resist the roundup." Yeah, that's kinda the purpose of an herbicide. Round-Up is environmentally friendly because it replaces more damaging herbicides with a higher environmental impact quotient (and that are usually more dangerous to human health) and it lessens the need for tilling, which erodes soil and causes fertilizer runoff into aquatic ecosystems. Obviously, inputs are generally undesirable for the environment, but the issue isn't whether or not something is bad for the environment, but whether it is better than the alternative. Roundup clearly is, and GMO crops have come with enormous environmental benefits. This isn't an opinion. This is what just about every study of them says. As for that study you point to, it was roundly criticized and dismissed by the scientific community for being, quite frankly, really bad. I know in particular the European Food Safety Authority, Food Standards Australia New Zealand, and the French High Council for Biotechnology dismissed that study entirely. And the anti-GMO crowd wonders why scientists don't take them seriously when they only site such rubbish. And of course even if that study were worth something, in light of the hundreds of other studies done on GM crops (, it still wouldn't say much. Whoever told you that there is no testing on GM crops was either ignorant or lying, but fortunately you can now read over just how much evidence there is demonstrating how very wrong that claim that GMOs are simultaneously dangerous and untested is.

Vegan Hypocrisy 101    
August, 19, 2011 at 01:33 PM

"Organic propaganda and marketing? Where?" Try opening your eyes. the organic industry is a multi-billion dollar one, one which has been extremely prosperous for "small farmers" like the Whole Foods and Trader Joe's corporations, the OCA front organization and, oh yeah, the Brittish Royal Family. "With your organic farms, run in smaller lots, if something happens such as the "occasional E.coli death"as you cite, the damage that occurs is minimal compared to today's industrial farming incidents" You mean like that giant outbreak that happened a few months ago in Germany? Or what;s currently going on with strawberries in California? Strange that you have to rely on passing off the spinach epidemic as being one of GM foods (or, if you prefer, Orwellian Newspeak like "industrial foods" and "OMG ZOMG AGRIBIZ!!11) despite the fact that that epidemic was also an organic one. Ooops.

USA  |  August, 17, 2011 at 03:26 PM

Actually, weeds are becoming used to Roundup, via natural selection, which requires more of it to kill it. So, initially it requires less pesticide, but then you need more of it, ending up where you started eventually, BUT with one less tool that you can use, a compromised ecology, loss of diversity in both seeds and farming techniques, the introduction of the new high-tech "foods" and possibly future health effects. In addition to that, you have a more powerful industrial food machine that is overpowering any regulatory body that is left in the government. Sounds good! I see GM foods as a nationwide/worldwide, biological/physiological experiment that lacks any controls, except for the few all-organic consumers I strive to be. Any effects may not show up in today's consumers, but where might genetic damage show up.....? The stuff is evaluated by the creator of the stuff, and "of course it's safe: we made it, and we can make lots of money with it, therefor it is safe." Real food can be found at localharvest[dot]org and eatwild[dot]com. It costs more, but that is the real cost of real food- not subsidized for profits.

Maryland Heights, MO  |  August, 18, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Ah Mark....taken in by organic propoganda and marketing. They've sucked you right in to paying more for the same food that is already safely availalble. There is nothing at all wrong with Organic (well, except for the occasional E-Coli death).

USA  |  August, 17, 2011 at 03:27 PM

Here is the reference for the pesticide use:

Montana  |  June, 22, 2012 at 11:34 AM

This is directed at Mark. Weeds are becoming roundup resistant because farmers in certain states do NOT rotate their crops. Here in Montana we rotate crops therefore Roundup is NOT needed every year on the fields. Studies show here in Montana that the weeds are not becoming resistant to Roundup. It just takes common sense.

USA  |  August, 20, 2011 at 10:27 PM

Every truly independent study done on GMO's has found harmful effects, but my family and I already knew that before we did any reading on the subject. GMO crops are NOT safe. I have personally experienced frequent kidney pain after eating GMO corn chips and my daughter now has multiple food allergies which we have conclusively linked to GMO soy and corn. It may be true that people are "eating plenty of GMO foods" but not in my house! We read labels and buy organic unprocessed food locally when possible. I am angry that my diet continues to shrink due to greedy chemical corporations which care only about raking in billions $ when they know perfectly well that the products they are selling are not safe. The good news is that more and more people learning the cause of their health problems and saying enough is enough!! GMO's are on the way out, but how much irreversible damage will be done before they are gone?

Wendy Hoag    
USA  |  August, 27, 2011 at 10:45 PM

Definitely against this. My experience tells me if your conditions are healthy you don't need pesticides. Heirloom seeds, healthy soils have proven the test of time. Pounding the soil with chemicals is not good for anyone. I relate this to the tobacco industry selling us a nasty bill of goods, and the fallout reeking havoc on so many lives. The future will tell the tale of Monsanto. The price will be paid by everyone. Do the right thing Monsanto, it's not always about money and profits. Of all the avenues a company could take, think about what you are doing!!!

Oregon  |  August, 30, 2011 at 11:34 AM

Interesting... Luckily, the plate varieties have held off long enough for farmers and processors to see there is a market segment deadset against buying GMO products. I found this article as I was researching the subject. We feed our pasture raised cattle vegetables from a frozen foods plant I used to work at. I have had a few questions regarding GMO and knew when i was there, it wasn't. But, things change. When I talked to a manager, he said he wasn't sure of the direction they were going, but would find out. He is not oblivious to the subject of GMO. It just had never been brought up within the company. So, he could not give a definitive yes or no. It does give me hope that there are smaller processors who recognize and can label the products are not from GMO seed varieties

GA transplant to CA  |  November, 15, 2011 at 03:46 PM

@NOZZLE "When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the loser." Socrates I am a Constitutional conservative, if that has anything to do with food politics. I believe I have a RIGHT to know what is in my food and how it is being grown. I grew up on a farm and the farmers I knew NEVER tried to hide anything about the products and methods they used. There is something fundamentally SERIOUSLY WRONG with going to court to silence people who want to question or criticize food production methods. This is a FASCIST (aka SOCIALIST) technique where government partners with business to silence the public. And when your pollen blows onto my crops and contaminates them with genetic material from crops you are growing and I GET SUED by your seed supplier for having their genetic strains in my fields, something is FUNDAMENTALLY WRONG with the system. I grow my own chickens for meat (50-60 a year) and eggs (25 producing daily now) and buy their feed from certified organic suppliers who get none of the grains in the feed mix from China (which frequently labels foods 'organic' when in fact they are often lab documented as not. I CHOOSE USA grown grain only so genetic purity can be VERIFIED. The additional non-organic feed is from grains and seeds that have not been genetically modified yet. The alfalfa is from a supplier that guarantees that they are not using transgenic alfalfa. Do I think it is worth the extra money required to raise my animals like this? Yes, although I know many do not want to pay these prices. I do this by informed CHOICE. I want others to be able to make a conscious CHOICE about what they feed their families, too. Some do not care; many do. I, too, spend a great deal of time reading scientific research papers so I am INFORMED about what I am doing and not just taking someone else's politically motivated word for what is "Truth."

WOODSTOCK, IL  |  September, 03, 2011 at 01:11 AM

None of the people who posted negative comments about GMO crops ever took or passed a chemistry class or a biology class, its obvious from your comments that you are nothing but ludite obama voters.

CA  |  September, 08, 2011 at 02:02 PM

Well, I have passed a biology test, in fact, that was my favorite subject. I was in college at 16 and science and the medical field continue to facinate me. I read peer reviewed scientific articles on a regular basis and correspond to scientists and professors about their research. No two ways around it, GMO's are dangerous- they mutate the gut bacteria in our small intestines and they thicken the lining as well, they damage vital organs and the transgenic genes can pass from mother to child through the unbilicord blood bond. That right there is enough to warrant the shut down of the entire GMO experiment. First of all, no human can survive without the bacterail fauna present in our GI tract. The bacteria is what breaks the food down so that we can absorb the nutrients. This is being modified by the transgenic genes and we are bombarded, not with just one or two mutations but corporations are constantly adding more all the time- one variety of corn has a human spermicide incorporated into it. All corn looks the same, tastes the same but can have huge impacts without your knowledge, just like this one for human infertility. Secondly the modified bacteria alters insulin regulation in the body which would account for the rapid expansion of not only obesity but diabetics and I wouldn't be surprised if they find a link for the rapid increase of autism in the U.S. as well, since fetuses are exposed during crucial development and are impacted as well. Also be aware that Monsanto at least plays dirty in the comment sections even in scientific reveiws, they place ringers to discount and discredit and bring up subversion against GMO critics. Google on the subject, it was really interesting that they even succeeded in the retraction of at least one peer reviewed scientific paper before they were discovered by a journalist who dug a little deeper.

James Staples    
Portland, OR.  |  February, 22, 2012 at 09:27 AM

There's as much Good to - potentially - be had from GM, as there is Bad; and it's only through acquiring a broad and accurate knowledge of what GM really is, and what it means to any organisms that might eat a GMO, and OUR (both Ye, The Packers, and We, The Enviros) Dedicated Vigilence, in that we stop any real insanity in the name of making a 'buck' to creep into the systems. I think the most important point that most people would be missing, is the FACT that the Bacteria living in the Mycorhizomal Matt wrapped about our plants roots, regularly exchange Plasmids - little snippets of RNA, coding for a beneificial mutation - just like GM Scientists do, when they splice in a little snippet of DNA, coding for a Beneficial Mutation, and thus create a supposedly HORRIBLE and UN-Natural GMO!!! Light the torchs, we're gonna STORM THE KEEP!

Montana  |  June, 22, 2012 at 11:28 AM

Seriously people. Alexa you have no idea what you are talking about. Roundup is one of the safest chemicals out there. I know we use it ALL THE TIME!!! The chemicals used in place of roundup ARE harmful and there is an abundance of them needed if you do not plant roundup ready. It is because of your ignorance ands all the other tree huggers that one day the nations food supply will not ,meet the demand. There can NEVER be enough organic food planted to feed everyone. The cost of food will go through the roof. Not to mention that foods grown without ANY pesticides or fertilizers has less nutrients because it has to fight so hard to even grow.

USA  |  July, 29, 2012 at 10:44 AM

Mindy, you say you use Roundup all the time and that it is safe. I would like to refer to you to a couple of reports showing Roundup is associated in human related diseases and in deformities in amphibians. Please see and the link

Boston  |  July, 03, 2012 at 02:40 PM

If there is nothing wrong with GMO food, then label it. Just the fact that all these foods aren't labeled has made me avoid them. And this guy thinks that eventially people will come around and accept them. What does he think we are--house cats that will eventially eat bad food when we're hungry enough?! He also isn't taking seriously documentaries like Food Inc and King Corn. You watch those and others like this and there is just no way any moral person would knowingly continue to buy anything that might be GMO contaminated. If the actual food saety and the degradation to the environment doesn't mean anything to you, maybe the fact that a corporation is trying to patent all our food so they can control everything from the earth the seeds grow in to what goes in our mouths. Go see those two films and see what kind of bullies these people are. And get this--natural selection is creating organisms that are resistant to GMO crops. You can't fool Mother Nature and hopefully you can't bamboozle the American people. Label your products as GMO and let the people make informed judgements. And stop bullying farmers.

usa  |  July, 29, 2012 at 10:59 AM

In all the comments and in the inital article nothing is referenced about what the Creator had to say about the mixing of different species. As I would assume, there are at least some people posting and reading this in here that do believe some instructions were given in the Bible for our good. A couple of places are Leviticus 19:19 which in part states, "you shall not sow your field with mingled seed.." In Deuteronomy 22:9 the Creator instructed the Israelites, "You shall not sow your vineyard with different seeds, lest the fruit of your seed which you have sown, and the fruit of your vineyard, be defiled." Obviously this certainly ties in with the genetically created seeds that incorporate genes from plant, animal, human and bateria. Too bad we humans think we know it all.

chicago  |  August, 02, 2012 at 04:09 PM

Oh please...Leviticus...I suppose you don't wear clothing made with different fabrics and you stone your children to death if they talk back to you.GMO foods may or may not be safe but you won't find the answer to that question on in the bible...

USA  |  August, 03, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I think the way you started your comment says a lot about you. For myself I believe there is a lot value in the Instruction book that can be helpful in in this day and age. Yes, we are in a different system at this time, yet some of us t r y to do what we can that seems appropriate. You may feel different, or should I say understand differently, about some basic values than others, and that is OK. By the way, regarding the command to not mix garments of linen & wool together (Lev. 19:19), Ezekiel 44:17-18 gives at least one reason as the addition of wool could cause the priests to sweat; which was a no-no when coming before the Holy place in the Tabernacle. I also recall reading at one time a scientific report that a linen/wool combination produces a wrong kind of electricity in or on the body. Just some food for thought.

Chicago  |  August, 03, 2012 at 07:26 PM

Quod Erat Demonstrandum I think.... It's not about sweat and you will not find any "scientific reports" on "bad electricity" You perhaps ought to do a little more research on that particular issue. As perhaps we all ought on the GMO issue.. Although in the strictest of senses we have been genetically modifying all kinds of things for a long time.. even before we knew there were such things as genes. Just sayin'

August, 06, 2012 at 07:02 AM

Yes there is some research demonstrating harm re GE crops but not enough because Monsanto has bought the legal means to limit research ( I.e. control os seed lines and intellectual patent rights). This is dangerous stuff my friend - the potential fox is guarding the henhouse, so to speak!

USA  |  August, 06, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Monsanto admits there is a problem with Roundup producing "Superweeds". It has affected thousands of acres in the U.S. in which farmers have abandoned the land. For a report on this see and also check out the detailed report in Wickipedia.

USA  |  August, 06, 2012 at 07:14 PM

Just saw another problem with Monsanto corn crops where farmers must replace their tires every 1-2 years vs 4-5 years due to the spear like stalks. The farmers are going to Kevlar tires!

USA  |  August, 06, 2012 at 08:44 PM

I saw Monsanto's GMO corn tears up the farmer's tractor tires requiring early replacement with Kevlar tires. More and more problems.

Cincinnati, OH  |  August, 09, 2012 at 05:33 PM

People have always been suspicious towards new technology. I would much rather eat GMO fresh produce that is otherwise 'organic' than conventional produce fully treated with the usual pesticides. I believe GMO to be safe, no concerns. However, I remain suspicious toward Produce of China. Improving quality and decreasing prices are not an outcome by chance, but a result of competition.

Born Bred Central Valley    
September, 14, 2012 at 09:19 PM

My Italian grandfather told me to only buy corn with a worm at the top. If there's no worm there was too much pesticide on the corn. You just pick the worm off the top and the corn is ready to eat. The worms do not carry disease. This aside, I have officially stopped eating all corn products to avoid these new poisons. This is only a scheme to monopolize and control the food by seed patents. Please educate yourself carefully and keep future generations in mind.

Marcy Wilson    
USA  |  May, 22, 2013 at 07:13 PM

I get sick when I eat anything with GMO field corn, Maltodextron, corn starch, corn chips, corn syrup, etc. It even caused me to loose most of my teeth. When I quit eating anything that may have GMO corn products in it I got well. It is really difficult for me to eat any store bought product except produce. Now I can no longer even buy sweet corn. Soon I will not be able to buy anything to eat at the grocery store. Please, at least label all GMO food, to protect those who choose not to use GMO foods?

June, 02, 2013 at 11:25 PM

Glyphosate is a poison. I don't eat it. Get it out of our environment. It contaminates our air water and food.

California  |  June, 30, 2013 at 10:49 PM

So where can I get some roundup ready sweet corn for a 1 acre garden?

July, 28, 2013 at 09:46 AM

After read this, are you still wanna eat GMO's products???

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