How about a little vaccine with your corn on the cob? I’m wondering if there is going to be any room left for actual corn in corn once scientists get done adding pesticides, fertilizers and now possibly vaccines to the genetic makeup of corn.

Meat & Poultry (you need to sign in to see article but registration is free) reports that researchers at Iowa State University are putting vaccine into corn. The goal is to put the vaccine into the corn that the pigs will eat to help stop diseases like swine flu from happening.

“We're trying to figure out which genes from the swine influenza virus to incorporate into corn so those genes, when expressed, would produce protein," said Hank Harris, professor in animal science and one of the researchers on the project. "When the pig consumes that corn, it would serve as a vaccine."
The goal, if things go well, is to have this vaccinated corn available in 5-7 years. Tests need to be done to make sure that the vaccines will work when given to the pigs orally through the corn.

Pigs aren’t the only ones who could “benefit” from this genetically altered corn.

According to the researchers, the corn vaccine would also work in humans when they eat corn or even corn flakes, corn chips, tortillas or anything that contains corn, Harris said.
I’m not to comfortable with this. Will consumers need to fight for “vaccinated corn-free” labels to be put on products that aren’t made from this type of corn, the way they have for the “rBST-free” label on dairy products? Or, if it comes to fruition, will products be unlabled and consumers unaware?

Does this concern anyone else?

Image: Gaetan Lee 

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

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