Published on May 23rd, 2008 | by Maryanne Conlin
Half of All Americans Wouldn’t Buy FrankenFoods…If They Could Tell The Difference
A recent New York Times/CBS poll bears good news for ecopreneurs in the food industry. Fifty-Three percent of consumers said they would not buy genetically modified food. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell the difference between Frankenfoods and the real thing.
A new CBS News poll found that 87% of consumers would like GMO ingredients to be labeled, just as they are in Europe, Japan and Australia. Yet the U.S. Congress has never even held a vote on the issue, to give shoppers the opportunity to exercise their most basic right – to make a choice.
Once again, labeling decisions made by the FDA and USDA, influenced heavily by big agriculture are keeping consumers from understanding what is in their food. The FDA’s position is: GMOs are the “substantial equivalent” of conventional crops and so does not require “disclosure of genetic engineering techniques…on the label.”
Robert Brackett is spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers of America.
“I think that consumers have that information available to them if they want to look for it,” says Brackett, “You can find it on websites. You can go directly to the manufacturer.”
Well, OK – be glad to do that if I had time, but, in fact though most consumers don’t. And herein lies the opportunity for eco entrepreneurs.
Today, more than 90 percent of the U.S. soybean crop is genetically modified – had its DNA altered to increase production and withstand chemical weed killers like roundup. Nearly three-quarters of all corn planted in the U.S. genetically modified.
Experts say that means if it comes in a can or a box and the label lists soybean oil or corn syrup as ingredients, odds are that it contains GMOs. Overall, 65 percent of all products in your local grocery store have DNA-altered ingredients…not that you’d know it by looking.
As an eco entrepreneur with food products that do not contain GMOs you probably already prominently display that on your labels. But, what’s the next step? Capitalize on the P.R. As this poll makes the rounds of media; get your public relations team working to spread your name around as an alternative. Give interviews, send out press releases; distribute the poll information to your consumers…they’ll pass it on.
P.R. can be a powerful tool! What other ideas do you have?
Image Credit: Scott Pollock under Creative Commons License