Genetically engineered and conventional sweet corn — Sept. 2000

Back in 2000, Farmer Jeff Wilson and I thought we’d try and figure out if the consuming public wanted genetically engineered crops or not. As Jeff would say, if people aren’t going to buy it, why would I grow it?

I recently discovered some of that old video. This was way before youtube, but the idea was, for those who couldn’t visit the farm, we would bring the farm to them. The original press release can be found at

We’ll be releasing a bunch of Farmer Jeff videos on youtube over the next couple of months, to provide some insights into the food production trade-offs that farmers face every day.

A tale of two drinks?

Dr. Suzanne Gibbons-Burgener, from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, was cited as telling the annual International Conference on Diseases in Nature Communicable to Man held last week in Madison, Wisconsin that a random sampling of milk from 901 Wisconsin dairy farms, chosen to encompass small and large herds, producers of Grade A and B milk, and all five of the state’s geographic regions, found that 76 per cent of the samples had detectable Coxiella burnetii DNA, and 5 per cent of the samples harbored Listeria monocytogenes.

Milk from larger herds and farms producing Grade A milk appeared to have a larger risk of having detectable C. burnetii, but no clear risk factors emerged to predict which farms were more likely to have L. monocytogenes in their milk. Both bacteria were broadly distributed geographically.

Kim White writes in a letter to the Owen Sound Sun Times in Ontario, Canada, that the real issue with raw milk is about the prevention of illness and not about freedom of choice, stating,

"Do not talk to me about what is or is not an issue of freedom to choose when 75 per cent of what is in the grocery store now contains genetically modified ingredients – without labelling, without warning. … Health Canada and the FDA, I’m afraid, exist to protect the industry they serve."