from the New Mexico News Connection - A statewide news service for New Mexico
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - The New Mexico arm of Food and Water Watch is actively involved with an effort to stop the nation's top ten grocery retailers and food processors from selling genetically-modified sweet corn, grown from seeds developed by Monsanto.
Eleanor Bravo, New Mexico state organizer for the nonprofit food and water safety advocacy group, says most people have already eaten canned or frozen GM food (also called GE, for genetically-engineered) without knowing it, but this is the first time it would be sold fresh in supermarkets.
Bravo says the campaign is focused most intensely on Walmart, and believes it would significantly affect the food supply for New Mexicans.
"New Mexico relies heavily on Walmart stores because we don't have any more local grocery store chains."
Food and Water Watch is organizing protests and petition drives to encourage Walmart to reject using crops grown from the modified corn seed. On its website, Monsanto says "The FDA has found there is no basis for concluding that bioengineered foods present any different or greater safety concern than foods developed by traditional plant breeding."
The genetically-engineered corn seed was quickly given the go-ahead by the Food and Drug Administration and the USDA. The same traits now in the biotech corn had received previous approvals in 2005 and 2008, although Bravo says that's not good enough.
"We're still uncertain. These three traits have never been approved together, and this food is going to be consumed directly by people."
According to Bravo, Food and Water Watch has already learned that General Mills, Trader Joe's, and Whole Foods do not intend to sell or use the GE corn in their products.
Other coalition members asking retailers and food processors to refuse to sell the biotech corn include Center for Environmental Health, Center for Food Safety, CREDO, Action and Food Democracy Now!
More information is available at www.foodandwaterwatch.org .
Monsanto's information on its GM products is at www.monsanto.com .
Beth Blakeman reporting, firstname.lastname@example.org