Is Chuck Norris Right? The Fight Against Genetically Engineered Corn

by jeeg 2. November 2011 21:43

I am not someone who usually agrees with Chuck Norris, who is a staunch Christian conservative activist, in addition to being a martial arts star. Consequently, I was shocked when I came across his recent column on the American Family Association website and found that I agree with it 100%!

“President Obama and the Children of the Corn” — with a title like that I had to check it out — begins as follows:

Want to know something almost as scary as an Obama re-election? Many news sources reported over the last couple months how Monsanto, the world’s biggest vegetable seed maker, will begin selling biotech or genetically engineered (GE) sweet corn this fall for U.S. consumers.

Norris goes on to make three points. First, he explains that, according to Bloomberg, Monsanto has genetically engineered corn “‘to kill insects living above and below ground and to tolerate applications of the company’s Roundup herbicide.’” The mutant sweet corn is the first consumer-oriented vegetable sold by Monsanto, and it will be marketed to consumers beginning this fall. The corn does not have to be labeled as genetically engineered.

Second, because of its dominant role in the food industry, corn is something to be concerned about. That is to say, because of over-production (caused by agricultural policy), corn is used in most processed food products. If you are unaware of this reality, I highly recommend that you read the first section of Michael Pollan’s best-selling book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Much of the corn that goes into processed foods is already genetically engineered. Now we have to also worry about our sweet corn supply.

Third, no one knows at this point what the long-term health effects of GE food will be, but studies indicate cause for concern.

The science of genetic food tampering is still spurious at best and hazardous at worst. A plethora of reports have been published to show the potential dangers not only to crops and the environment but also to humans. The UK Daily Mail news reported in 2010, “According to the research, animals fed on three strains of genetically modified maize created by the U.S. biotech firm Monsanto suffered signs of organ damage after just three months.” Despite tests supporting that genetically altered organisms in crops become a part of the bacteria in even our own digestive tracts, and that polls show the American public wants more labels on foods that utilize genetically-engineered ingredients in their production, the USDA now wants to eliminate any controls from genetically altered corn and cotton!

Norris is also upset because, according to the LA Times, the Obama administration “has approved an ‘unprecedented number of genetically modified crops,’ like ethanol corn, alfalfa and sugar beets” — and so am I.

Norris urges us to take action.

Currently at least 14 states have introduced legislation on genetically modified organism labeling, but most face government gridlock. So please take action and keep foods safe (non-genetically engineered) by contacting your representatives, as well as the FDA and the USDA, and tell them all that you are demanding that genetically modified food must be labeled on every package.

The Center for Food Safety, another great watchdog organization, offers a new and free “True shopper’s guide” download on its website and even a mobile application for smart phones, to help you find and avoid GE ingredients wherever you shop. Go to

Help make sure GE sweet corn is not sold in your local grocery store by signing FWW’s petition. They’ll be delivering the petition to the top 10 grocery store chains in the country in the pursuit of stopping GE sweet corn from reaching your plate. Go to

Mostly, remember to buy certified organic products, because they are not allowed to use GE ingredients.

Incidentally, Monsanto told the LA Times it doesn’t expect much consumer outcry. I guess it didn’t know about my culture warrior column and its readers!

Nor does it expect a mobilized Tikkun community to join the growing movement against Monsanto. So let’s surprise Monsanto and demand that the government put the welfare of the People before the special interests of large corporations and make health a part of our new bottom line.

Claire Snyder Hall, Tikkun Daily



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