A new food item could soon be crossing state lines from Maine to Vermont, and it’s made from a combination of genetically modified corn and soybeans.
Corn and soybean were both recently approved for cultivation in Vermont and are being imported to the state.
But it’s the corn that could have the biggest impact, with the United States currently experiencing an alarming number of foodborne illnesses linked to imported foods.
This new food is made from genetically modified crops that are produced by a new company in Nebraska.
“We think the corn-to-soybean hybrid is a good fit for the climate, we think it’s a good match for the country,” said Chris Breslin, the executive director of the Vermont Farmers Union.
We have this problem with imports, where people are coming in from other countries, and we’re importing them into our states,” Bresline said.
According to a report from the Vermont Agriculture Department, there were 4,400 foodborne cases reported to the agency in Vermont in 2015, up from 3,000 in 2014.
The report states that Vermont has seen the largest increase in cases from imported foods compared to Vermont’s population.
The Vermont Agriculture Commissioner’s office said that the Vermont Department of Agriculture has been working with its counterparts in the states of Colorado, Kentucky, New Mexico and Oklahoma to find a way to stop the imports from coming in.
In Nebraska, Bresling says that the state’s farmers are now trying to find the most efficient way to get the corn and the soybean into the state without having to transport them.
But there are some limitations.
Breslin says that if Vermont imports enough corn and other corn-based foods from other states, it could increase the amount of grain that is exported to other states.
He said the state needs to look into a solution to protect Vermont’s corn farmers.”
There is no silver bullet, but the fact is we are going to have to be more vigilant about how we’re using our land, and I think the best way to do that is through agribusinesses, through the local market and through food producers that have the capacity to grow and sell the product,” Brestlin said.
Bresling said the Vermont Corn Growers Association is looking into getting a permit to import the corn from Canada.
Meanwhile, a group of local farmers in Minnesota has filed a lawsuit against a company that was previously involved in a food product that was approved for export to Vermont.
Farmers say they believe the Vermont Farm Bureau is attempting to export a product that is genetically modified to increase its yield.