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Farmers respond to celebrity’s tweet about corn

Farmers respond to celebrity’s tweet about corn

Laura Prepon’s tweet suggests corn at a farmers market hasn’t been sprayed

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Farmers are using social media to correct an actress’s message about corn.

Laura Prepon, who plays Alex Vause on Orange is the New Black, posted a photo on Twitter of herself holding corn cobs.

“Finally! Organic corn has arrived at the farmers market,” her tweet on Friday said. “Corn is one of the crops that is most sprayed with herbicides & pesticides, & is often genetically modified. Waiting for it to hit the farmers market is worth it – you’ll know you’re not feeding your family that awful stuff!”

Since then, producers have responded to the tweet to set the record straight.

“I am a farmer,” William Masteller, a producer from South Dakota, posted on Twitter today. “There is nothing wrong with GMO corn. GMO just means that we just select the best variety of corn to grow. If using chemicals were really that bad, then all of us farmers would have died from cancer by now.

“If we didn’t (use chemicals), the world would starve.”

“Wow Laura, that’s actually not the case at all… organic corn is treated with pesticides and herbicides, doesn’t mean it’s unsafe,” Whitney R., an agronomist from Nebraska, said on Twitter yesterday. “Please look into and research this, please don’t spread misinformation.”

Ag industry representatives are happy with producers’ responses.

Celebrities like Prepon can have influential voices, even if the messages they promoting are not entirely true.

Holding those people accountable is important to the industry, said Ted Mottaz, vice-president of the Illinois Corn Growers Association.

“Actors and actresses have powerful platforms, so it’s great that farmers have responded the way they have,” he told today. “She’s more than likely talking about sweet corn, which is different from corn used for ethanol or feed, but it’s (grown) in almost the exact same way.

“Raising completely organic corn without any chemicals would be very risky for a producer.”

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