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Desperate Measures in GMO Info Wars

September 25, 2014

Someone said once the truth will set you free. It might, or it might condemn you. Increasingly, twisted truth shows how much people don’t know and how anything for the cause fear factor issues are not truth. Fear factor causes unnecessary stress for consumers who then fear what’s in their food.

If the truth was truth, isn’t that enough? No. Blantant, outright photographic lies are being cast and this heirloom producer is calling BS. Why? Because it does not help us. It’s a lie and I don’t need lies to create a market. If I have to lie then isn’t that admitting someone else has a better product?

So today a little info, a little venting, a little sharing. I try to bear in mind people don’t know but those blatantly outright lying to people if they don’t know need to be fired. Here’s two great examples from the same Facebook page – Environmental Action. I’ll try to temper my disgust and outrage at blatant fear factor. Maybe. On the heels of environmental groups not walking the talk while condemning that might be tough.

BSgmocornThis looks horrible right? Let’s add some text:


If you got your corn from a supermarket, you could have unknowingly eaten a Monsanto crop that has been genetically modified to produce pesticide in every kernel!


Anyone else incensed? If you’re not then you’re the ones targeted with this outright lie. The sign was photoshopped in. And it’s not corn folks. Wheat – there is no commercially available GMO wheat. Is that the best they got for food choices? Really?

How about this one:

BSGmocorn2I’m eliminating the link here because it’s asinine.

Tell Grocery Stores to Label GMO Corn!<no link>

If you got your corn from a supermarket, you could have unknowingly eaten a Monsanto crop that has been genetically modified to produce pesticide in every kernel!”
Again…is that the best they got. That’s an absolute reason NOT to have any kind of labeling ever entertained. It’s a waste of time and money. Anyone over the age of 2 can identify GMO corn merely by looking at it!
Except that it is blatantly untrue. The top corn, being field corn, may be GMO or may not, but that’s not the reason for the misshapen kernels. Nature isn’t perfect folks! Incomplete pollination, wind pattern, variety all make a difference. The bottom also may or may not be GMO – there are sweet corn varieties that are on the market, both at farmer’s markets and supermarkets. If you bought that bottom ear – great price at 10/$2 and it’s nonGMO – and you found out later it was indeed GMO corn would you feel deceived? Angry? Betrayed by this organization that told you it was “made by nature” and thus nonGMO? Farmers didn’t claim that. Politics did. Activists did.
A friend, Neal, who knows a little about GMOs, made this comment – “GMO introduces a gene into the DNA of a plant. If it’s for insect resistance its a gene from another plant that produces a protein within the plant that is toxic to a certain type or class of insects. Or in the most popular use,it makes plants to not react to certain chemicals (round up ready being most widely known). All of these genes occur in nature,I haven’t heard of mass extermination of the plants that naturally produce them. Example,fescue grass. It readily extracts and holds selenium from the soil,much more so than other common grasses. Selenium can poison horses but is fine for cattle. Should we go on a fescue extermination frenzy?
Simply put, the corn has a protein bugs can’t eat. Dogs can’t eat chocolate, but we can. Prolonged, or sometimes one time, exposure to chocolate can kill a dog. How many quit eating chocolate because of that? Show of hands please?
GMO corn - photo courtesy Groth Farms

GMO corn – photo courtesy Groth Farms

More than this, even, is the above picture deceives and works against food choices! Why would we need food labels if it’s that easy to tell? The upper photo is a plant that appears to be field corn (look at the small indentations in it) – that is *not* something that will be on the same shelf as the other corn. It will likely be fed to animals. Natural factors causes that, not GMO status. A full ear of field corn – this is not the sweet corn you eat, not what is canned for corn. Another friend, Glen Groth, shared a photo of corn recently harvested. Look misshapen? “Frankencorn”?

How about the winning corn at a fair a couple of years ago:
Glasscorn2Notice the small ‘dents’ in the end – long called field corn, or dent corn, this is not the sweet corn you eat, or what is canned as creamed corn. More likely it might go to feeding livestock, possibly – depending on variety – ethanol.
Compare to flint corn and our home grown glass corn.
The fact is there are many types of corn. Sweet corn, popcorn, flint corn, field corn even broom corn. Some are popular commercial varieties, some are heirlooms, some are GMO, some are not GMO, some are organic. Thousands of varieties that if we tried to list them consumers who just eat would get glazed eyes and more often than not ask the core concern. “Will it make me sick?
You can’t tell by looking at it if it’s GMO or nonGMO or organic. People say you can. So what are these:
The whole argument for labels is that you can’t tell. That is blown out of the water from environmental groups that spread blatant false information. It’s said that 80-90% (depending on source, day and wind speed) of corn is GMO, which means 10-20% is either organic or nonGMO. So – pick out the kernels on the left that are GMO vs nonGMO. From the ‘natural’ and ‘GMO’ photo above it should be easy right?
Want to know what gets labeling beaten? Misinformation!
Claims are made, found to be untrue and people see no cause for alarm so why institute it, especially if it raises prices. If it makes people feel better to blame Monsanto or Kelloggs or ‘big ag’ or ‘big food’ then get on their ‘big computer’ and say save the little farm we’re tromping on then don’t be surprised when the little farms tie your shoelaces together.
It doesn’t help us. It doesn’t help fear factor. And it sure the heck doesn’t help consumers, that choose ears of corn falsely believing information that isn’t true. If it has to be exagerated is it really that bad? And if you don’t want it, with the millions of dollars spent battling it how far could that go to *buying* nonGMO, organic and heirloom options? Increase the market share, show demand. Find small farms like ours and sponsor people getting nonGMO food, reducing what they buy that may or may not have GMO ingredients.
That’s action that changes things. Food choices depend on honest communication and folks these tactics aren’t honest. You want to know what we grow, ask. Farmers will tell you, and will tell you why.
Don’t tell lies and expect support. The environment isn’t benefactor of that. Food choices. Farm choices. Make them.
Edited to add:
Clearly this is a polarizing topic. From Facebook, from a comment about GMO as a biotech introduced in the 80s:
Brad Allen Yes, it was modified somehow to create it. If you want to know the origin of corn go look up teosinte. Until then please think about your comments…
Then continued to tell me that, indeed, the glass heirloom corn is modified. GMO. Amazing. No GMO corn field for miles…many miles, and yet I have GMO corn, based on a photo. Incredible things we learn. If true that puts GMOs way more prolific than I understood from talking to others and I was wrong. It does travel for hundreds of miles. The nearest corn field large enough to plant GMOs is many miles away, but I don’t know what I’m talking about when it happens in my own plot.
Brad Allen Sorry Jan! I’ll trust the guy that’s getting a graduate degree in plant breeding..
A graduate degree does not mean the ability to connect with people, or an acceptance of other types of agriculture. Unfortunately, or fortunately, everyone has choices. Make ’em. Make them before someone else decides for you. Because a picture and a depiction isn’t accurate, and can be easily fabricated.
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