In a marriage between two of the world’s most destructive companies: Walmart to happily sell dangerous Monsanto corn
August 04, 2012
Few companies in this country are more controversial at the moment than Monsanto, but one that could certainly compare is big box behemoth Walmart – so it’s no wonder really that the two have joined forces. A study in contradictions, on the one hand Walmart takes a keen interest in sustainable initiatives like renewable energy, recycling and cutting down on packaging waste, and sourcing local produce. On the other hand, the business has just confirmed with the Chicago Tribune that it is totally down to offer Monsanto’s latest strain of herbicide-resistant genetically modified corn, a move that has put it philosophically at odds with a growing sector of the foodservice industry.
The Tribune reports that everyone from retailers like Whole Foods to food product manufacturers like General Mills (and Jack-of-All-Trades like Trader Joe’s) have released statements that they will not be using the GMO corn in their products or carrying it on their shelves. Not only have consumers voiced concern about the product, but new studies have raised questions over the long-term effect that Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn could have on the human body. Meanwhile, Monsanto has pulled out of entire countries due to negative public response. But Walmart has dismissed these concerns:
“After closely looking at both sides of the debate and collaborating with a number of respected food safety experts, we see no scientifically validated safety reasons to implement restrictions on this product,” the company confirmed to the Tribune.
Should businesses always bow to everything they hear? Of course not – it’s vital to take a stance on issues, one way or another, and the loudest majority isn’t always right. But in the case of Monsanto’s GMO corn, the worst case scenarios pointed to by current science are just a little too much to ignore without further study – especially when one considers that customers may not know what they’re getting themselves into, since genetically engineered products don’t currently have to be labeled in the United States.
Walmart does point out that, if you do want to shop there and go GMO-free, you can do so by choosing their organic options.