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Home / Articles / Views / The Highroad /  Cargill’s GMO hypocrisy
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Thursday, July 17,2014

Cargill’s GMO hypocrisy

Can you have your hypocrisy and eat it, too?

By Jim Hightower

I don’t think so, but Cargill Inc. is doing its damndest to get away with its version of the old admonition that eating your cake today means not having it tomorrow. Cargill, the $2.3 billion-a-year food conglomerate, is a huge producer and user of food ingredients that contain genetically manipulated organisms. But it has a marketing problem — by huge margins, consumers here and around the world do not want to put those GMO Frankenfoods on their families’ tables.

Thus, Cargill has been a ferocious, deep-pocket opponent of every state law and ballot initiative that would mandate the labeling of any product containing GMOs. Better that families be kept in the dark about what they’re buying and eating, says Cargill — better for its profits, that is. Indeed, the chairman of the conglomerate’s board is also on the executive committee of the industry lobbying front that goes all out to kill every right-to-know provision for consumers. Any such label, he scolds, would be “misleading.”

But — whoa, what’s this? It’s a press release from Fortress Cargill, proclaiming that the diehard giant is now marketing a non-GMO soybean oil that — voila! — announces on its label that the product is GMO-free. Has the diehard had a change of heart?

Excuse me, but corporations don’t have hearts. They have bottom lines, period. And the bottom line is that Cargill’s terminally-hypocritical honchos see dollars laying on the ground that they’re not getting. So, weasels a company man with the cumbersome title of Food Ingredients Commercial Manager, “Despite the many merits of biotechnology, consumer interest in non-GMO ingredients is growing, creating opportunities... for food manufacturers.”

That is the clearest expression you’ll ever get of corporate integrity.

Respond: letters@boulderweekly.com 

This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.

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Mr Hightower, Despite your love of hyperbole, your real or feigned ignorance is apparent. None of the food manufacturers or seed producers ever opposed labeling food non-GMO. That is purely a marketing term with no scientific significance. Anyone is free to produce food with that label just as anyone can make and label kosher food if they want to enter that market. Do kosher food manufacturers require everyone else to label their product's non-kosher? So if Cargill sees a market for people that attach significance to that label, regardless that it is meaningless, they will be happy to take those people's money. No hypocrisy there. In fact, you should be preaching that all non-kosher food be labeled as such, otherwise you are the hypocrite.

 

 
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