Is the NON GMO movement both misleading consumers and diluting the organic movement…or is it providing greater product awareness and affordability? This debate is a passionate one indeed and SHOULD be had given the world of difference that it takes to produce ORGANIC FOOD vs. NON GMO FOOD. Our quarterly newsletter hit the streets this week and the feedback has already started to pour in. One member (who we applaud both for speaking up and caring enough to do so) wrote us a well researched letter stating that the article that we published on our co-op’s yellow NON GMO tags was misleading.
In her words: “My chagrin with your take on GMOs is the following: it’s misleading. It’s misleading to tell a consumer that a non-GMO project verified product is inherently better. A commodity product that has been grown from non-GMO seed can still have a slew of pesticides, insecticides, fertilizers, etc. thrown on them and still qualify for the label…(continued) I hold the view that non-GMOs are already labeled…it’s called Organic. Not enough consumers know that all Organic products are inherently non-GMO. I think that this rallying cry around labeling GMOs has actually taken away from the Organic movement – it confuses the average consumer. I think a better course of action, though unpopular, is to promote your organic (and local!) products and farmers. If you’re telling consumers that supporting non-GMOs is supporting a model that utilizes fewer pesticides/herbicides, etc., it’s just not true (I’m sure sometimes it is, but not as a rule).”
Well put! NPR published THIS ARTICLE, this week questioning the very same issue. It asked whether or not the NON GMO movement is actually hurting organic farmers and producers. Most of us at the co-op think that NON GMO food production has a lot of the same negative environmental implications and human health factors (both for workers and those consuming the products) since it’s still okay to dump on the chemicals as long as the seed hasn’t been genetically altered! However, we are a member-owned co-op and we like to let YOU decide what we carry by voting with your dollars.