The City of Reno talks about GMOs

Come join Label GMO Nevada and the co-op’s Local Food & Sustainability Coordinators Jacob Nachel and Andrew Yokom on January 27th at 9:00am.  Hear them discuss the issues with GMOS with our Reno City Council members.  Public attendance, comments and support — highly encouraged! :)  Let our city leaders know what you think about genetically altered foods in our local food supply.

Here is what Jacob Nachel had to say on the topic:

Hello, and thank you for your time. My name is Jacob Nachel and I am the grocery manager at the Great Basin Community Food Co-op. I am here speaking for myself and the co-op to voice our support for mandatory GMO labeling laws.

There is a lot of research highlighting the economic, health-based, and environmental issues that stem from using genetically modified crops in American agriculture. Many people today have already spoken to these issues. But regardless of the conclusions you may draw from their testimony, we still live in a consumer driven economy.

And here in Reno, the consumers are speaking loud and clear. They want GMOs labeled. Nearly every day at the co-op I am asked which items contain genetically modified ingredients, and our customers routinely choose the GMO free option.

In fact, the demand for non-GMO products is so strong that we recently took the time and energy to investigate each of the 4,000 plus items we sell at the co-op, and we voluntarily labeled every single one of them as either GMO-free or likely contains GMOs (those of you who shop at the co-op will recognize the gold and white shelf tags differentiating the two). We did this because our 8,000 member-owners demanded it.

If you look at traditional box stores like Walmart, you see only a 1.4% year over year growth and their stock is down 30%. And at Whole Foods, where there’s more of an emphasis on GMO-free products, you may see 7.7% growth, but also more than a 50% decline in stock value!

Meanwhile, since our voluntary consumer-driven GMO audit, the co-op has consistently shown double digit sales growth, and so far this year we’re growing at 20% over 2015.

The message is clear; while traditional grocers are floundering, we’re posting double digit growth, and our customers can’t get enough. Last year, we sold 1.6 million dollars worth of non-GMO food, more than half the total sales of the store, and four departments in the store are entirely GMO-free (our produce, bulk, kitchen, and new juice bar!)

Campbell’s soup just announced that they are supporting mandatory labeling of GMOs. 26 countries have already banned GMOs. 64 countries have mandatory labeling laws. This is our chance to be at the forefront of a massive global movement, rather than left behind. All we have to do is listen to our customers, our constituents, the people that are voicing their concerns loud and clear.  Thank you.

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