The Non-GMO Blog

Three big GMO things: Chipotle, Vermont, and USDA

June 3rd, 2015 by

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They say that big things happen in threes, and this past month was no exception in the GMO world.

Chipotle goes non-GMO

First, Chipotle announced they had completed their transition to using only non-GMO ingredients in the foods served in their restaurants. This was followed by a “media lynching” in the words of Jonathan Latham in his excellent essay on page …

Big media outlets—likely at the behest of Big Biotech’s multi-million dollar PR campaign—criticized Chipotle’s move as “anti-science,” among other baseless criticisms. Chipotle was simply giving its customers what it wanted, foods without GMOs. Big Ag obviously sees Chipotle’s non-GMO stand as a major threat, hence the hostile response.

It’s also a sad state of affairs to see the US media stoop to being the GMO industry’s lapdog.

Vermont labeling law stands—for now

Second, a US district judge ruled against the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s injunction to stop Vermont’s GMO labeling law from taking effect. The judge ruled that Vermont’s labeling law was constitutional and gave GMA very few options to win its lawsuit. GMA has appealed the ruling but still this was a victory for consumers’ right to know.

Following the Vermont ruling, there was more urgency in US Congress to pass Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo’s DARK Act to prohibit states from passing GMO labeling laws.

USDA gets into non-GMO certification

The third big thing was that the US Department of Agriculture is offering non-GMO certification. USDA is certifying the non-GMO production of SunOpta, a supplier of non-GMO grains and ingredients. And, according to agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack, there are many other businesses lining up to be certified.

On the one hand, USDA’s entrance into non-GMO certification further validates the non-GMO market. On the other, there are concerns that it could undermine calls for mandatory GMO labeling. And how will it affect the Non-GMO Project, the industry’s de facto non-GMO standard?

And oh, I forgot that Monsanto wants to swallow Syngenta. That’s four.

Published by

Ken Roseboro

Ken Roseboro

Ken Roseboro has been called “the nation’s reporter on all issues surrounding genetically modified foods” by Acres USA magazine. He has written extensively about GM foods and the non-GMO trend since 1999. Ken’s articles have appeared in leading food and agriculture publications and websites such as Civil Eats, Harvest Public Media, Prepared Foods, Natural Foods Merchandiser, Food Processing, and World Grain as well as The Huffington Post, Yahoo News, Mother Earth News, and others. He is a contributing editor to EcoWatch, Organic Connections and New Hope 360. Ken is author of Genetically Altered Foods and Your Health and The Organic Food Handbook both published by Basic Health Publications. He has spoken at many conferences including Natural Products Expo West, All Things Organic, Acres USA Conference, The Organic Farming Conference, National Heirloom Seed Expo, and others. Ken is a founding member of the Non-GMO Supply Working Group, and a member of the board of directors of the Iowa Organic Association. He appears in the award-winning documentary film, GMO OMG. In 2006, Ken received an Award of Merit from Seed Savers Exchange for his efforts to preserve genetic diversity through his publications.

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