I talked to a reporter yesterday and she was nice enough to send me a link to the published piece. Here it is.
The headline is certainly a grabber: "Derby Shocker: Does Your Mint Julep Contain GMOs? Most Kentucky bourbon is made with genetically modified corn. We’ll tell you what to buy instead."
Despite the provocative headline, the short article itself is very well done and she accurately reports the issue as the industry sees it. A good business person tries to satisfy his or her customers. If customers want bourbon made from non-GMO corn, the producers will try to give it to them. That doesn't mean anyone in the business believes there is anything wrong with bourbon made from genetically-modified corn. It just means we are, as Paul Simon sang, "trying to keep the customers satisfied."
Obviously, if the GMO issue begins to hurt our non-U.S. sales that will be a big problem, as export has been a key driver in the revival of American whiskey.
How big an issue is it, really? My guess is I'll catch more flack for my description of the proper way to drink a mint julep.