Lori Dahm, technical editor

I recently saw “The Future of Food,” a film focused on the nature of genetically modified seeds and how the patents upon them are impacting the food industry.
Canadian farmer Percy Schmeisier found Roundup Ready Canola in his crops, most likely blown off trucks driving by his land, and Monsanto was able to successfully sue him for growing seeds that they “owned” and he had not lawfully “purchased.” The point of the film was to demonstrate the dangerous dynamic that develops when companies can ultimately own huge portions of the food supply.
What I also find worrisome is that the film represented one incident — it is certainly not the first or only case of genetically modified seeds unexpectedly appearing where they had not been planted. Take Mexico, where the maize fields are protected under law from the planting of genetically modified corn, yet several years ago GMO corn appeared there as well (folks in Mexico planted kernels from imported GMO corn).
For me, a truly disturbing takeaway is that genetically modified crops are already appearing in places in the world where they aren’t planned. If GMO crops are becoming that pervasive, I’m fearful that we are altering our landscape with species whose end effects — to land, to consumers and to the food supply — we simply don’t yet fully understand.