Science in Society Archive

Tell WalMart to Reject Monsanto’s GMO Corn

There is growing evidence of health hazards associated with genetically modified (GM) food and feed, which I-SIS has reviewed extensively over the years. Health hazards linked to Bt toxins include organ damage in lab animals, diarrhoea, increased water consumption, decrease in liver weight, damage and death of human kidney cells in culture, allergies in humans, changes in blood chemistry, and mass deaths of sheep grazing on Bt crops residues:

Bt Toxin Kills Human Kidney Cells
Bt Brinjal Unfit for Human Consumption.
Mass Deaths in Sheep Grazing on Bt Cotton
GM Egg Plant Contains Bt Toxin Linked to Hundreds of Allergy Cases and Thousands of Sheep Deaths.
More illnesses linked to Bt crops
GM Feed Toxic, New Meta-Analysis Confirms

Now Monsanto is introducing GM Bt corn for direct human consumption.

The organisation SumOfUs has generated a petition  calling on Walmart not to sell Bt corn in their shops. Please sign on! Their statement is reproduced below.

This is where the war to protect our food supply begins. In just a few weeks, farmers will begin planting Monsanto’s largest genetically modified corn crop in history marketed directly to consumers. This is not just any corn — it is genetically engineered to include Bt toxin, a pesticide that ruptures the stomach of the insects that eat it.

Monsanto has never tested its Bt corn on humans, yet it insists it is safe. But rats who ate Bt potatoes suffered intestinal damage, and thousands of livestock who grazed on Bt cotton plants got sick and died. Monsanto claims that Bt toxin breaks down in our digestive systems — but it has been detected in the blood of pregnant women and unborn babies.[1]

Monsanto’s sweet corn could be on dinner plates soon — sold unmarked, unlabelled, and untested on humans. Monsanto’s first foray into the selling this potentially toxic GM corn straight to consumers is in the US. But if it succeeds, they won’t stop there — they’re already started growing cotton, eggplant and potatoes with the same toxin.

Monsanto is relying on supermarkets to sell its product to American consumers — and the biggest of those is global megacorporation WalMart. If we can stop WalMart from selling the Monsanto corn, we can send a clear signal to Monsanto that consumers around the world won’t stand for untested GMO food on their dinner plates — and take a big bite out of the profits they’re expecting.

Along with our partners at Food and Water Watch, we’re already making progress on this campaign — more than 60,000 American SumOfUs members have signed the petition, and under pressure a WalMart spokesperson recently told the press that “the decision has not been made.”

As the world’s largest corporation by revenue, WalMart operates 8,500 stores in 15 countries under 55 names — including Asda in the U.K., Pali in Costa Rica, Seiyu in Japan, Walmex in Mexico, Todo Dia or Bompreço in Brazil, Despensa Familiar in Central America, Bharti Walmart in India, and Massmart in sub-Saharan Africa.

WalMart wants to be the world’s supermarket. If consumers around the world send a strong message now that selling Monsanto’s toxic crop will give them a toxic brand, WalMart will back down.

Additional Information:

  1. International Journal of Biological Sciences, A comparison of the Effects of Three GM Corn Varieties on Mammalian Health
  2. Study: Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of quebec, Canada
  3. Dangerous Toxins From Genetically Modified Corn Found in Blood of Women and Fetuses
  4. Chicago Tribune, Genetically modified corn varieties are popping with news

Article first published 15/03/12

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There are 9 comments on this article so far. Add your comment above.

Susan Rigali Comment left 16th March 2012 01:01:30

Catherine Macintosh Comment left 16th March 2012 01:01:25
Monsanto's claims that GM is needed to increase food production are spurious. The increase (if any) rapidly tails off, and more and more of their foul "Roudup" weed killer is required, causing soil deterioration and the creation of super-weeds. The Roundup is a powerful toxin released into the environment. The motivation is really to increase agricultural dependence on the chemical industry.

rolando lozano Comment left 16th March 2012 01:01:20
please take this product off

Alberto Martinez Comment left 16th March 2012 07:07:55
This is a real big problem and, unfortunately, getting biger every day!

Anna Bond Comment left 17th March 2012 00:12:36
It's quite puzzling, this, because Bt toxin is not supposed to even exist in mammals. As I understand it, GM plants make only the precursor compound, which is converted into Bt toxin by an insect enzyme that mammals are not supposed to possess. (That's why Monsanto are so airy about the possibility of safety issues.) But from what I've heard, I think something's happening all the same. I'd be fascinated to know how it works... sadly I don't think that's a question that will get much research, if Monsanto have anything to do with it!

D. Smith Comment left 17th March 2012 17:05:09
The best way to tell walmart anything is simply not to shop there. Period. And get friends and family, en masse, to do the same. Walmart could care less what they sell, as long as it rings up a dollar sign when it goes past their scanners.

phil zimmerman Comment left 19th March 2012 02:02:04
monsanto are evil and must be stopped. They know their food is poisonous, that's why they don't serve it in their own canteens!

Todd Millions Comment left 21st March 2012 16:04:30
I loath wal mart-not that they aren't simply better than other firms doing the same but-All corn stocks were contaminated with bt inserts(starlink) via pollen drift almost 20 years ago-300km per season,definite.I'm unsure if this contamination can be even measured accuretly.Its also problematic too eliminate this posion from your diet,due too labeling ambiguities that are permitted.Certianly if this toxic insert will posion pigs,it will due the same too us,and the pig posioning was why starlinks approval was lifted in 2002.If this last point make semites uncomfortable(human and pig physologically so similar)-TOUGH.It IS get over it.Do NOT forget that the approval for it was via-Dan Qayle AND Al Gore.The crux of further work being done with this crap is trade policy and treaty-NAFTA model patent protection sans liability.I have stumbled on some commentary on secret army work from the 1930-40's.The phrasing of the german efforts too soften up expected enemies,was often based on tempting offers too join Nazi industrial cartels.The phrasing of this cant is identical(in english translation) to the phrasing used on these free trade agreements.Not a coincidence I expect.

Kariuki Kiragu Comment left 19th April 2012 14:02:40
The Bt-toxin is likely to be tested on humans in Africa and the developing world without their knowledge. The logic of GMO seeds is such that poor African peasant farmers will need, annually, to import seed and the accompanying chemical paraphernalia at many times the cost of their current production systems without proven increases in crop yield. They will lose their ability to breed their own seeds, graduating into share-croppers on their own land and eventually, physically, dying out. This is bad business for which millions will pay with their lives. The Bt-cotton debacle, where, Indian framers, rather that face up to accumulated debt due to misrepresented GMO regime, committed suicide is well-known.