Farmer discovers non-GMO corn feed is really GMO

Suspected GM corn may have caused illnesses in chickens
Paul Keiser suspected something was wrong with the feed he was giving to his chickens. Keiser, who breeds chickens and ducks on his small farm in Marne, Michigan, says his chickens weren’t functioning the way they had previously. “They were failing, not setting on eggs adequately and not caring for their chicks,” he says.

Then one day Keiser overheard a farmer at a local market say that the bags of corn he was buying for feed, which were supposed to be non-GMO, could actually be genetically modified. He stopped buying from the local mill and bought a truckload of non-GMO corn from Ohio.

Corn tested positive for GMOs
After hearing this, Keiser decided to take action. “He inspired me to do something,” he says. Keiser went to his local feed mill, a small family business, and bought a 50 lb. bag of whole kernel corn. “The owner was telling us the corn wasn’t GMO,” says Keiser. The mill takes corn from several farms and mixes it together. Keiser decided to see if it really was non-GMO and sent a 6.5 lb sample to Genetic ID, an Iowa-based GMO testing lab. Sure enough the corn tested positive at a significant level of GM material. Keiser says a representative from Genetic ID told him the GMO level could have been as high as 50%. He then gave a copy of the test results to the local feed mill owner.

Wants to establish “some realities”
Based on that result, Keiser plans to do more testing, this time with open-pollinated, certified organic corn grown in his region. “I want to test organic corn to see if there is contamination and increase knowledge in our region of what’s what with GMO contamination,” he says. “I want to establish some realities about this problem.”

Keiser is concerned about problems caused by modern agricultural practices. “The whole food supply is threatened, and GMOs are one of the threats,” he says. “(Agricultural) chemicals are killing soils and a lot of farmland is becoming desert.”

© Copyright The Organic & Non-GMO Report June 2007.