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has been determined, the final product can use a GMO-free label that one of several organizations provide. The lack of GMO labeling on consumer products is because the vast majority of research on GMO crops suggest that they are safe to consume. GMO crops also have the potential to feed a rapidly growing global population that agriculture will struggle to feed without GMOs. There is also the possibility to create crops that contain more vitamins and minerals to improve the diet of people who are malnourished. Many of the concerns surrounding GMOs currently are based upon conjecture and have not been proven. However, as long as there is concern over the safety of GMO crops and as more GMO crops are brought to market, more research is warranted to affirm the safety and supply of our food. Out of the three grains most commonly used for spirit production—corn, wheat and barley—only corn is commercially available in a GMO form. Corn can also be obtained from farmers or suppliers that did not use GMO corn which is commonly referred

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to as Non-GMO or conventional corn. In conventional corn, it is not uncommon to find some traces of GMO in the corn. This is most often caused by pollen from GMO fields blowing in during pollination of the plant. Most commercial purchasers of conventional corn consider any corn under five percent contamination to be acceptable. These purchasers pay a premium for conventional corn, and the premiums increase as the percentage of GMOs decrease. If a distillery decides to use conventional corn in its production, there are a number of ways to ensure a reliable supply. It is always quickest and easiest to ask the supplier. The vast majority will know if their product is GMO or not, and will be up front and honest about their product. Another option is to take a sample of grain to a local grain purchaser that deals in conventional corn. Most will be happy to run a test for the presence of GMOs for a small fee. If that is not an option, a sample can be sent off to a grain or food lab that will run tests for the presence of GMO traits. If a quick

on-site test is desired, there are a number of testing kits available for purchase that would allow you to quickly test any shipment you receive. This test provides less information,but it will tell you if GMO traits are present. Whether your distillery chooses to use organic, conventional, or GMO grain to produce your spirits, there are options to obtain high quality grain of any type you prefer. Having these options is great because it allows the final consumer to seek out what they desire. Having good sources of all different kinds of grain is also a great relief because it allows the distiller to focus on crafting the best product while not focusing on the details of how his grain was produced, as he or she knows it is a high quality and safe product.

Brett Glick is a farmer and business owner from Columbus, Indiana. He and his brother, Trevor, operate their family farm. They also own and operate their private seed company, L&M Glick Seed, which sells corn, soybean, and wheat seed directly to customers and to the wholesale market

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Artisan Spirit: Spring 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.

Artisan Spirit: Spring 2018  

The magazine for craft distillers and their fans.