GMO Inside Blog

2014 Predictions: We’re Off to a Great Start!

General Mills’ announcement last week to remove GMOs from its original Cheerios last week was welcomed by consumers nationwide and signifies an important win for those seeking more sustainable and transparent food options.  This victory shows that collective consumer pressure can make a difference when it comes to a major food company’s practices, even when that company is one that has spent nearly $2 million to fight GMO labeling efforts.

Shortly after General Mills’ announcement, headlines and social media were alight with the news of this consumer victory thanks to major media coverage and thousands of shares on Facebook (Thanks GMO Insiders!).  By spreading this news, we are able to educate millions more about what GMOs are and why there is cause for concern.

2014 Predictions:

Thanks to increasing consumer awareness and demand, we predict 2014 to yield even more pledges from companies pledging to go non-GMO, including commitments from:

  • Another major cereal company
  • A major dairy brand to use non-GMO feed for its cows
  • Another national food chain to add more non-GMO options
  • Another national food retailer to require GMO labeling (like Whole Foods)

We also see:

  • Increased interest in organic foods from consumers and businesses alike
  • Increased conversion of farmland from GMO farming to non-GMO or organic methods

In spite of the progress that will be made on the non-GMO front in 2014, there will also be new challenges for consumers seeking non-GMO choices and important reasons to pay attention and take action.

In 2014, biotech giants like Monsanto and BASF may gain FDA approval for additional GMO crops including wheat, potatoes, and apples, which are now in testing phases.

ŸDow has sought approval for selling the herbicide 2,4-D—the same chemical that was used to make Agent Orange, a chemical weapon used during the Vietnam War.  New versions of GMOs for 2,4-D resistant crops are also being developed to withstand liberal application of this herbicide, which would result in even more chemical application on farmland.

ŸThe first ever genetically modified animal, AquAdvantage salmon, could gain market-approval and not require a label.

Important Consumer Alert:

It’s not just food that consumers need to be concerned about if trying to avoid GMOs – genetically modified crops are also used for animal feed, fuel (corn ethanol), fiber (cotton), and even trees.  While humans do not directly ingest these GM crops, it’s still imperative that more long-term studies be completed to assess the impacts of these crops before they are widely introduced on the market.

Additionally, it’s important to look for the labels: Non-GMO project Verified and/or USDA certified organic. Companies can claim all sorts of things on their packaging to increase sales, but only 3rd party verification ensures companies are following through on their commitments.

Background on GMOS:

Since genetically modified seeds were introduced to the US market in 1996, roughly 75-80% of packaged foods have come to include genetically modified ingredients, largely unknown to most consumers.  Unlike 64 other countries, the US does not require companies to label GMO ingredients.  GMOs have never been proven safe for human consumption, and there is a growing body of studies that show that greater research and long-term studies are needed to fully assess their potential risks, for human health, animal health, and the environment.  Unlike the EU, the US does not use the precautionary principle — requiring manufacturers to prove their products safe before selling them — when introducing new GMO crops.  As a result, many of the crops approved by the FDA are done so based on industry studies, not long-term, independent ones.  There are currently nine common genetically modified crops in the US including corn, soy, cotton, sugar beets, alfalfa, canola, papaya, and summer squash.

Action in 2014:

Getting Cheerios to remove GMOs is just the first step. We need you to keep spreading the word and taking action with us to eliminate GMOs from the food supply.

Thank General Mills for this first step, and ask them to now get verified.

And tell us what your hopes and predictions are for 2014 are below!

 

 

5 Awesome Comments So Far

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  1. Brad
    January 10, 2014 at 10:57 am #

    Seeing as though my thoughtful comments were eliminated yesterday in regards to who determines whom shall eat based upon income levels and all the advancements we have made to better ourselves and the rest of the world, I can only conclude this is really just a one sided propaganda blogging area and you are not really interested in another perspective. Is this really true? You would subject others around the world to starvation because you selfishly don’t want technological advancement? Say it’s not so. The limitation of food is also a great stimulus for unrest an all out war among the nations. Do you favor this as well? I would be very interested in your scientifically based factual perspective. What am I missing?

    What about penicillin ? Is that bad too? It has saved millions of lives.

    • Michelle Kim
      January 13, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

      Thanks for your feedback, Brad! Comments are approved every several days to filter out spam or robot messages. We do not delete comments from concerned individuals on either side of the issue, so I apologize for the misunderstanding.

      GMO Inside is a campaign of Green America that aims to educate consumers about genetically modified foods, and the accompanying environmental, social, and potential health impacts. Please feel free to find more resources on our website, GMOInside.org.

  2. Alex Morales
    January 15, 2014 at 1:23 am #

    I have noticed that some companies have quietly introduced natural versions of their products. Case in point: ConAgra’s Orville Redenbacher Naturals, an all natural version of their popcorn that contains popcorn, sea salt and palm oil, and mixed tocopherols to insure freshness…. What is missing is their TBHQ which they have been steadfastly using in all their microwave popcorn. So why are they able to produce a all natural variety now without TBHQ at the same price point? Is ConAgra quietly hedging their bets?

  3. debi
    January 15, 2014 at 8:24 am #

    to some extent Brad is correct in that the organic market is exploding right now. to buy organic or non gmo it becomes very expensive. its increadable the amount of money i spend on food weekly. but with that being said, i am one of the ones who have shown physical symptoms from GMO foods. i NEED to eliminate them from my diet. i have no choice. im just gratefull i can afford to do so.

  4. Wendy
    January 15, 2014 at 3:55 pm #

    I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with Brad. It has been proven that GMO foods do not produce a higher yield. And I am sorry, but as a parent I would rather forego other luxuries and feed my kids food that is not poison and that is exactly what GMO’s are…poison!

    Also, you can pay now for real food or pay later with your health. If you believe that GMO’s cause cancer and you were 100% sure you would get cancer from eating GMO food…would you eat it? Better yet, would you feed it to your children? My guess is no…so do some research. I have not found organic to be that much more expensive. That being said, give up a few things you would normally buy to purchase organic. I have also found that some stores have better prices than others.

    I am little tired of hearing about the expense of organic food, we all seem to find money for the things we want, but not for the things we need.

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