Food safety, health and environmental organizations are petitioning for a ban on Monsanto's new genetically modified sweet corn, which is not being labeled as genetically altered from conventional corn, according to reports.

The consumer petition, sponsored by a coalition that includes the Center for Environmental Health and the Center for Food Safety, is being taken to national retail grocery stores and top canned and frozen corn processors to press them to ban the corn. The corn has been altered to tolerate treatment of Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, and to fight off insects that might attack the plants.

Monsanto has expressed surprise at the controversy. "The safety and benefits of biotech sweet corn products — as well as other biotech crops — is well established," said Monsanto spokeswoman Danielle Stuart. Critics have expressed concern that genetically altered crops may pose environmental and health risks and may fuel a rise in "super weeds" that are herbicide-resistant.