Up until now, one of summer’s greatest treats, corn on the cob, has typically been free from genetically modified ingredients (GMO or GE), but that’s about to change. Monsanto now has a sweet corn made from GE ingredients, and Walmart will be selling it.


EcoWatch reports that this corn is the first “consumer product developed by Monsanto that will go straight from the farm to the consumer’s plate, rather than first being processed into animal feed, sugars, oils, fibers and other ingredients found in a wide variety of conventional food.”


The GE sweet corn will not be labeled as such, despite the fact that the public widely wants products made from genetically modified ingredients to be labeled. In fact, it’s one of the few issues that gets bipartisan support from the public. In total, 89 percent of Republicans and 90 percent of Democrats want genetically modified foods to be labeled, but the government ignores those numbers.


Not everyone ignores them, though. Whole Foods, Trader Joes and General Mills all say they will not carry sweet corn made from GE ingredients or use them in their products. California may be the first state to require foods to be labeled as GE if Proposition 37 passes in November. 


That won’t help those of us in the rest of the country much though. If you want to stay away from genetically modified food, you need to buy organic or buy a food that is labeled GMO-free.


Now that sweet corn will be available in GE form, even the corn at the farmers market isn’t safe. You’ll have to ask the farmers who aren’t certified organic if they use GE seeds to grow their corn.  


More genetically modified food stories on MNN: How do you know if a food is non-GMO?


Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

GE corn: Straight from farm to table
Walmart will start selling Monsanto's genetically modified (GE) sweet corn with no labeling for consumers.