A recent article in Forbes highlighted the consumer response to Triscuit’s Non-GMO label, after the cracker brand announced its new Non-GMO Project label last month. Hundreds of consumers commented, criticizing the brand for pandering to “ignorance and fear.”
“Another cynical business trying to cash in on fear and scientific illiteracy surrounding a technology that could do a lot of good,” writes one critic. “So long and thanks for all the crackers.” The comment mirrors several that point out that “GMO” technology is a tool, not an end product that can be boxed and sold. GMO, which stands for “Genetically Modified Organism,” has no tangible meaning but has become shorthand for any organism with traits created with modern molecular genetic engineering (GE) techniques.
As the author notes, almost all the foods we eat have been modified in some way.
But nearly all of the foods we eat, with the exception of wild plants and game, including foods labeled non-GMO, natural, organic and even heirloom, have had their genes modified using unnatural methods, including exposure to radiation or chemicals intended to cause genetic mutations. The consensus on the safety of agricultural genetic engineering is as strong as the consensus on vaccine safety and even climate change, and, as I argued earlier this year, it’s high time we treat denial of all of these realities with equal disdain.
Sporting trendy “free-from” labels to keep a hold on market share is easy. It’s not as easy to buck the trend and stand for the technologies that will help nourish the world’s growing population while protecting the environment. But Mondelēz International had a 2016 revenue of nearly $26 billion. Surely there is room in the company’s budget to help educate consumers rather than chase a fundamentally flawed trend.
Read the full article here.