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:
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.