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October, 2014

  1. Blue Seed = GMO and toxic? Not necessarily

    October 27, 2014 by Peter

    Recently I’ve seen a few pictures being tossed around drumming up a controversy over blue seed.  Here are a few of the examples.  Read through them and tell me which one is telling the truth:

     

    Embedded image permalink

    Taken from this tweet:  https://twitter.com/foodawakenings/status/526762011318050816

    The other example:

    The truth is all three are (potentially) lying.

    Let’s clear up a few misconceptions in both of these images.  First and foremost, just because a seed has coating doesn’t mean it is GMO.  Secondly, the coating is more than a blue dye.

    For the sake of discussion I’m assuming the dyed seed is GMO corn that has been treated with Acceleron.  You can find out more about the treatment here:  http://www.monsanto.com/products/pages/acceleron-seed-treatment-products.aspx  According to the official brochure for Acceleron, the product contains several treatments:

    • DC-309 Fungicide
    • DC-509 Fungicide
    • DX-709 Fungicide
    • IC-609 Insecticide

    So the coloring is obviously more than a dye, but onto question #3 – is it toxic?  To answer that question we must look at the Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for each product.  You can find them here:  http://www.agrian.com/labelcenter/results.cfm.  On that page do a search for “Acceleron” to get each individual product.

    According to the MSDS sheets, the following are not toxic to anyone or anything:  DC-309, and DC-509.  DX-709 is toxic to Aquatic Invertebrates and Fish.  Being that IC-609 is an insecticide designed to kill bugs, I would guess that it is toxic to something!  A search using the site listed above reveals that yes, it is toxic to Aquatic Invertebrates.

    There you have it, a quick look at the “dyed seed” controversy!  I wanted to publish to show you that there are people on both sides of the fence throwing half-truths to the general public.  Hopefully this post will help you as a consumer make informed decisions and have a few additional places to look at when researching claims.