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New Study: GMO Sweet Corn Rare in U.S. Supermarkets

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Canada News page.

WASHINGTON - A first-of-its-kind investigation to look for genetically modified sweet corn in the United States has yielded surprising results: Monsanto's first direct-to-consumer product, a genetically engineered sweet corn, appears to be a flop in the U.S. market.

In 2011, Monsanto began selling seeds for Seminis® Performance Series™ sweet corn, a "stacked trait" product genetically engineered to contain an insecticide and withstand herbicides. Friends of the Earth set out to investigate how far the corn had penetrated the market by 2013.

"We wanted to know if the sweet corn we were feeding our families this summer was the same corn on the cob we've always eaten, or if it was Monsanto's new GMO corn that has never been in the food supply before. Since GMOs aren't required to be labeled, the only way to find out was to test it," said Lisa Archer, Food and Technology Program director at Friends of the Earth.

Over a four month period, Friends of the Earth tested 71 samples of fresh, frozen and canned sweet corn from eight areas in a nationwide sample, using a highly sensitive strip-testing method designed to detect the presence of proteins expressed in genetically modified corn plant tissue. Positive samples were confirmed at an accredited independent lab. The analysis found:

Only two corn samples out of 71 (2.4 percent) tested positive as genetically engineered. Both were confirmed to be Monsanto Seminis® Performance Series™ sweet corn.

Monsanto's GMO sweet corn was purchased at City Market in Breckenridge, Colorado, and Stop & Shop in Everett, Massachusetts. The corn from Everett was grown in Ontario, Canada, while the Breckenridge corn was of unknown origin.

No GMO sweet corn was found in samples purchased in Washington State, California, Illinois, Vermont, Washington, D.C. or Oregon, or in other stores in Colorado or Massachusetts. Samples purchased at Walmart stores in Seattle and Denver tested negative, despite the store's stated intention to sell GMO sweet corn.   


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