Soy Growers to Chipotle: Misinformation is Not a Marketing StrategyMon, 04 May 2015 10:00:55 CDT
The American Soybean Association (ASA) issued a statement today in response to Chipotle's announcement that the fast-food chain would remove all foods containing genetically-modified ingredients, including the soybean oil used in cooking, from its menu. ASA President Wade Cowan, a farmer from Brownfield, Texas, noted farmers' continuing frustration with the misinformation about agricultural biotechnology advanced by Chipotle this week:
"Farmers are no strangers to the heated discussion of GMOs and biotechnology. We recognize that there are passionate viewpoints on both sides, and we respectfully disagree with those who choose to dispute the scientific consensus on the safety of these agricultural innovations. What is different about Chipotle's announcement this week is that it smacks of a willful subversion of science, all in the name of selling burritos.
"Chipotle contends that more study is needed on GMOs, even though they are among the most studied and tested food products in the world, and have been since their introduction almost 20 years ago all without a single incidence of harm to humans, plants or animals. Think about that for a minute: a planet's worth of meals over two decades means literally trillions of servings without one adverse occurrence. Chipotle, however, bypasses the overwhelming scientific consensus and places long-debunked safety concerns first and foremost in its new effort. For this, the restaurant has been taken to task by viewpoints ranging from the Center for Science in the Public Interest to media outlets like National Public Radio and the Washington Post voices that certainly couldn't be mistaken as 'shills' for big agriculture.
"We might suggest a better approach: abandon the scare tactics and join us in our effort to provide clarity to this conversation. Soybean farmers are ready and willing to come to the table and help consumers find out more about what we do and why we use these products. Just like soybean farmers, Chipotle and indeed all links in the farm-to-fork supply chain have a huge opportunity to help Americans discover more about their food. This comes, however, with the responsibility to do so in an ethical and honest manner."
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