Chipoltle Mexican Grill Inc. announced that the 46 different ingredients it will be using in the future are all free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). This chain of 1,800 restaurants is the first large-scale chain of restaurants, fast food or sit down, to make this claim.
Chipolte’s founder and CEO is trying to gain an edge on marketing to the millennial generation by scaring the entire population of the U.S. into thinking that GMO food items might be unhealthy and dangerous to eat.
Founder and CEO Steve Ells was quoted as saying, “Though many countries have already restricted or banned the use of GMO crops, it’s clear that a lot of research is still needed before we can understand all of the implications of widespread GMO cultivation and consumption.”
If that isn’t a scare tactic, then I don’t know what is. This businessman lives on the edge of making malicious statements against the entire conventional agriculture industry and 95 percent of the scientific community.
He is, ignore the pun, causing a feeding frenzy against GMO foods. You would think that U.S. millennials would be some of the best educated, but from all indications they are the worst educated on science and easily turned into lemmings jumping off a cliff.
When Ells talks about other countries’ banning GMO foods, he primarily is looking to Europe where Greenpeace has used its anti-GMO stance to blackmail legislators into voting against GMOs, even when some original Greenpeace leaders have contradicted today’s anti-GMO position.
Non-GMO food ingredients are not the easiest to find considering the widespread production of GMO crops. Eating GMO foods have not harmed humans, and there is no scientific connection to possible future problems for humans. Most of those who are against eating GMO foods would actually prefer that food production regress to farming like it was in the 1960s, which they think was a time of more "natural" food production.
“Ridding the supply chain of genetically altered components is difficult. They lurk in baking powder, cornstarch and a variety of ingredients used as preservatives, coloring agents and added vitamins, as well as in commodities like canola and soy oils, corn meal and sugar,” wrote Stephanie Strom for The New York Times.
Using words such as lurk seems to have a negative connotation, but writers for the anti-GMO crowd make strong accusations with their words. Groups like Green America applauded Chipotle’s GMO ban by suggesting the world will be a healthier place because the ban is a “milestone in creating a safer and healthier food system for all Americans.”
Green America then suggested, “It is time that all food companies follow suit and move beyond genetically engineered ingredients and toward a more sustainable food system that benefits people and the planet.”
Throwing the word sustainable into its statement appears to make planting GMO crops comparable to killing the planet in one way or the other.
The World Health Organization recently suggested that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, which scientists know is dose responsive, and it has done nothing but add ammunition to the conspiracy theories that scientists hide the truth about conventional crop production and the harvested crops being safe to eat.
My hope is that Chipotle has trouble sourcing all its GMO-free ingredients and raises prices to cover the extra cost to source them. It is probable that millennials and soccer moms wouldn’t flinch at paying more because they are drinking the GMO-free kool-aid.