Loc: Waterloo, NY
Today I made homemade eggnog and am enjoying it with Wild Turkey 101. Awesome.
Wild Turkey Master Distiller Jimmy Russell is a little more cautious. During a tour of the Lawrenceburg, Ky., distillery, he told photographer/blogger Michael Kellstrand why Wild Turkey doesn’t use GMO grains:
The whiskey distilled today will not become a bottled product for another four to 15 years. If a GMO grain is discovered to have an issue five years from now, or if the government decides any GMO products must be labeled as such, then the distillery would be in quite a bind with all that aging product now affected. The premium they pay for non-GMO grain is considered insurance against any possible issues later.
Colin O’Neil, regulatory policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety, says he hasn’t seen any science pointing to genetic material passing through the distillation process. But, as he sees it, that’s not the only cause for concern.
“To assume that the only real risk is contamination of genetic material ignores the fact that these crops by and large either produce an insecticide (which has been shown not to break down in the human gut) or they are engineered to withstand exposure to herbicide.” And farmers are spraying an increasing amount of Roundup and other weed killers as a result of herbicide-resistant “superweeds,” he points out.
“I don’t know what types of pesticide residues are on the corn that goes through the distillation process,” O’Neil adds, “but residue in any form presents an increased exposure to consumers.”