Soylent’s whitewashing on use of GMOs angers ag journal
By Ken Roseboro
Published: December 7, 2021
Category: GMO News
Meal replacement maker backtracks from “proudly made with GMOs” to no mention of GMOs on its website
When Soylent meal replacement drink was introduced in 2014, the company heavily promoted the fact that the product was made using genetically engineered ingredients including GMO soy protein. The company touted the product as “Proudly made with GMOs” on its website.
But in recent years, Soylent has completely removed any reference to the use of GMOs in its products from its website. This backtracking on the promotion of genetic engineering has raised the ire of the agricultural website, AgDaily. In an editorial, AgDaily’s managing editor Ryan Tipps has criticized Soylent for whitewashing the use of GMOs in the product.
In the editorial, titled “Have biotech advocates lost Soylent as an ally in the food industry?” Tipps wrote that the company’s pro-GMO approach had been instrumental to their marketing and it wasn’t long ago that then-CEO Bryan Crowley observed that the public was becoming more accepting of genetic engineering. But that has changed according to Tipps, who wrote: “But to look at Soylent now, under CEO Demir Vangelov, all mentions of ‘genetic engineering’ or ‘GMOs’ have been scrubbed from their website—the company’s blog post that was titled ‘Proudly Made With GMOs’ has been taken down, as has the Soylent Help Center page titled ‘Why is Soylent made with GMOs?’ ”
According to Tipps, a discussion on Reddit indicated that Soylent is “wilting away from sound science” and “dumbing down their approach in order to make a profit—even if the company still uses genetically engineered soybeans without disclosing it as prominently.”
Tipps said he reached out to Soylent many times through social media and the company’s website and marketing department but got no response, leading him to conclude that “GMOs seem to be a topic that no one there is willing to discuss.”
Soylent has been controversial since its introduction in 2014. The product’s name is the same as that of food source made from human remains, Soylent Green, in a 1973 movie about a dystopian future. In 2016, the company ordered a recall of its Soylent bars after people reported gastrointestinal illness, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea after eating the product.
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Organic & Non-GMO Insights December 2021