As a joint venture with Cargill, Monsanto has come up with a genetically engineered corn that contains elevated levels of the amino acid lysine. Apparently, when this corn is cooked, the lysine reacts with sugars to produce advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) that pose problems for diabetics and pre-diabetics, and are implicated in other serious diseases.
The corn is strictly intended as livestock feed (lysine increases the conversion of feed to meat, allowing farmers to reduce the protein level in feed). And by "strictly," of course, I mean "technically":
Even though Monsanto states that LY038 is intended only for animal feed, they made application for approval as a human food so they do not have to keep the altered corn separate from edible corn.Also, it seems that no one has bothered to perform safety tests on the cooked corn, an oversight which is causing some alarm in New Zealand:
The Centre for Research in Biosafety (INBI) is urging the food standards agency to reconsider its draft recommendation to approve a new type of GM corn. INBI has recommended that Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) should not approve Monsanto’s genetically modified high-lysine LY038 corn until further safety studies have been conducted....INBI recommends that safety studies be conducted using GM corn that has been cooked and processed as it is in human food.Sounds reasonable to me. And as we so often hear these days, the innocent have noithing to fear.