Corn Futures: Consumer Politics, Health, and Climate Change

Document Type



The most up-to-date version of this piece can be found in the Duke Law Scholarship

published 38 Environmental Law Reporter 10851 (2008)


The Mexicans have long been known as the Corn People, but that label perhaps provides a better fit for modern day Americans. The simple seeds of corn play a fundamental role unprecedented in the history of human agriculture. Corn now underpins two major sectors, arguably the two most important sectors, of our modern economy - food supply and energy supply. How we choose to consume this seed has far-ranging consequences for pressing issues as far apart as climate change and diabetes, energy policy and immigration, tropical deforestation and food riots.

Date of Authorship for this Version



consumption, corn, ethanol, carbon