Bourbon gives us an interesting window into GMO grain, because the spirit must by definition be made with at least 51 percent corn. Consider the fact that 85 percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is now genetically engineered, and you can guess why organic bourbon won't be appearing in a liquor store near you any time soon.Supply and demand. The only consistent demand for bourbon without GMO corn are the overseas markets. Domestically, the consumer apparently doesn't care (to be honest with you, I look for this stuff and whiskey just slipped through the cracks). In addition, the GMO corn is cheaper, mainly due (I suspect) to government subsidies, making the end product more inexpensive as well.
The end result? Most of the suppliers of non-GMO corn are fading away. And those that are holding on may not be around for much longer; as Jim Rutledge, the 45-year veteran distiller at Four Roses, says, “due to cross-pollination, even the farmers not using GMO corn will end up with it eventually.”