Just a quick note today on the topic of Genetically Modified Organisms. As debates heat up about the labeling of food products containing GMO ingredients, food companies have been slowly taking stances on the issue. In case you haven’t been paying attention, Vermont passed a law to require labeling, which went into effect on July 1. Congress passed a bill to enact national standards for labeling food products containing GMO ingredients. And the President has pledged to sign the bill into law.
A few companies have taken preemptive steps to label their products. I wrote about Campbell’s choice to label GMOs earlier this year. I’ve also highlighted the question of whether or not GMO Fears are Justified.
The news regarding GMOs hasn’t all been bad. This week, the topic gained some positive attention as Soylent, a liquid meal replacer, embraced GMO ingredients and emphasized their importance in a blog post and recent ad campaigns. Response has been mixed, but Soylent’s niche audience is a unique one and there have been quite a bit of positive chatter around the web regarding the company’s support of science.
What is Soylent? Watch this video for a quick recap.
Soylent invested some time in putting together their blog that highlights the role of GMOs in our food supply and included sections covering Safety, Sustainability and Socioeconomics of the crops and ingredients while citing several resources.
“Scientific and regulatory agencies around the world have repeatedly and consistently found crops and foods improved through biotechnology to be as safe as, if not safer than those derived from any other method of production. There has never been a single confirmed case of a negative health outcome for humans or animals from their consumption.” – Signed by 110 Nobel Laureates
Grave challenges face the future of our food system. There is a palpable cost to denying society the value of GE crops when the risk-benefit calculus is so overwhelming in their favor. Our scientists continue to evaluate GMOs in light of the available data, and relative to the practical alternatives. If we as a society aspire to improve upon our existing food system, it is critical that consumers do the same.
It’ll be interesting to see how this situation unfolds. I’ve seen a few tweets claiming customers will end their Soylent subscription in light of this announcement (Note: GM ingredients have been in the product all along), but I imagine they’ll also pick up a few additional customers from those with an appreciation for science. Kind of refreshing in a time when popular views have recently favored companies trying to demonize Genetic Modification in their marketing efforts.
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