After making national news in 2013 by becoming the first national food chain to disclose genetically modified ingredients in their food, Chipotle announce yesterday that they have eliminated all GMOs from their food. Like most level-headed conversations, their concern about GMOs focuses on these two points.
1. Although genetic modification can take many forms, most GMO crops are engineered to produce their own toxic pesticides and/or designed to be resistant to pesticides like glyphosate–aka Round Up–which was recently named a “probable human carcinogen” by the World Health Organization this month.
2. Scientists are still uncertain whether or not GMOs are safe, and most research showing that GMOs are safe was funded by the companies that engineer these seeds.
1. “In October 2013 a group of about 300 scientists from around the world signed a statement rejecting the claim that there is a scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs for human consumption. These scientists would like to see more research conducted, and they’d like more of the research to be conducted by independent third parties, not the companies marketing GMO crops themselves.”
2. “Evidence suggests that GMOs engineered to produce pesticides or withstand powerful chemical herbicides damage beneficial insect populations and create herbicide resistant super-weeds. The companies that sell GMO seeds claim that certain genetically modified crops are better for the environment because they reduce the amount of pesticides and herbicides used in farming. But this has not been shown to be the case. One recent study by researchers at Washington State University estimated that between 1996 and 2011, pesticide and herbicide use increased by more than 400 million pounds as a result of GMO cultivation. This and other evidence suggests that GMO crops are fueling an escalating arms race with weeds and insects.”
Makes sense, right?
3. “We believe everyone should be given enough information about where their food comes from and how it was raised to choose for themselves what they feed their families. We hope these principles of transparency and honesty extend beyond consumers to everyone who has a stake in the food system, and Chipotle respects the right of every farmer, rancher and grower to follow practices that make sense for their business, even if they do not make sense for ours.”
Shouldn’t that be the policy of all manufacturers and restaurants?
Ingredients like corn (93% of which is genetically modified for herbicide resistance and to produce pesticides) and soy (94% of which is engineered for glyphosate resistance) have been replaced in Chipotle’s products. And the company is fully transparent in pointing out that some of the meat and dairy served in their restaurants may have been fed GMO feed (although the grass-fed beef has not), and that some beverages are made with corn syrup, which is typically made from GMO corn.
So that’s the scoop. If you need food fast, I’d say Chipotle is a pretty awesome option.