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Wegmans THE smaller imageWegmans has weighed in on the GMO debate.

In a blog post, Senior Vice-president of Consumer Affairs Mary Ellen Burris tells customers if they want to avoid all genetically modified organisms, they need to buy organic food. Wegmans said it has studied GMOs for 20 years. Farmers like GMO seed because they reduce operating costs, reduce the need for insecticides, get a higher yield and can help the environment. Wegmans says 80 percent of American cropland is planted with GMO seed.

Wegmans has an extensive Frequently Asked Questions page on GMO. Wegmans’ answer to the question about “other concerns” with GMO is telling:

It seems that GMOs really stands for “Got Many Opinions.” Check the blogosphere and you’ll find that for every pro-GMO position, there is a counter view. We regularly attend seminars where this plays out. Some wonder why so many other countries restrict GMOs. Others don’t trust those who profit the most from these patented crops. They wonder if too much power has been consolidated into a few seed companies. They see GMOs as part of an agricultural system focused on a few crops at the expense of greater bio-diversity. Others believe that inserting a single trait is not as simple as it sounds and that we may not understand the full range of interactions that are impacted.

On the other hand, some are just as concerned that farmers will be forced to return to conventional seeds which they see as a step backwards. They point out that GMO grains may in fact be less risky since prevention of insect damage results in less aflatoxin, a cancer-causing substance that’s natural, but deadly. And finally, they worry that without modern technologies, like GMOs, we will struggle to feed a hungry planet.

Although Wegmans appears to be very much on board with GMOs, the company said it wants the FDA to come with a more formal process for approving GMOs. Wegmans wants a national standard for labeling GMO products.

The comments on the blog post indicate many people are not buying Wegmans’ line on GMOs. Again, Wegmans encourages those customers to go organic, which is certainly a huge part of the supermarket’s business.


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5 Responses to Wegmans Weighs in on GMOs

  1. Mary Ellen is lying. If they had been studying GMOs they would know that GMO crops, which were designed to enable those plants to be sprayed with Roundup without any undue effect, have in fact increased the use of Roundup which is, as it turns out, killing our pollinators. These pesticides “have been found to kill bees through nonlethal doses by disrupting their ability to learn, remember, and even find their way home…” GMOs have also been linked to the decline of Monarch butterflies. AND, what about the fact that Monsanto and Dow are actively pursuing farmers who do not grow GMO crops but whose fields have been contaminated by GMO pollen and then suing them for growing “their” seed? The worst part of these lawsuits is that the chemical companies keep the lawsuits going until the farmers are literally bankrupt; then they move on to the next farmer, maybe someone you know…. Europe, Mexico and most of the developed world have banned GMOs: they only reason Wegmans (and the GIANT grocers’ lobby) is in favor of GMOs is their bottom line..

  2. Crops modified through conventional breeding, mutation breeding, hybrids or doubled haploids do not require testing and approval. The clear scientific consensus is that genetic engineering involves no unusual risk relative to all the other methods of genetic modification. What’s the point of spending more $ on labeling? In case you haven’t figured it out, this has nothing to do with safety or health and everything to do with control.

    Labeling should be VOLUNTARY. Those who wish to use labeling as a selling point for their product are the ones who should do so.

  3. April 19, 2014 at 6:12 pm Lincoln DeCoursey responds:

    The genetically modified crops produce higher yields, exhibit better disease resistance, and give various other efficiencies. Even with these advancements, food prices have skyrocketed with population increases, as economically developing regions have increased demand/competition for access to better-quality food (e.g. meat, dairy), and as the U.S. dollar has been devalued.

    Bottom line: these agricultural advances were required in order to keep pace with population increases and other changes that have already occurred, and the current state-of-the-art techniques are projected to be insufficient to maintain the status quo beyond about 2050.

    Regardless of how “blogosphere” debates and seminar discussions play out, the bottom line for U.S. middle and working class families is that avoiding GMO foods won’t ever be a practical option. It’s already difficult for households to afford basics such as chicken, pork and beef, and this situation is not scheduled to change for us.

  4. I hate when people bring up traditional breeding as being equal to GMOs. It’s comparing a mule to a centaur.

  5. May 15, 2014 at 6:27 pm Derek Beckwith responds:

    FDA doesn’t test GMO’s or any food or drug, they depend on the info they get from the company in which is trying to market an item. You don’t think companies lie? Monsanto controls almost every market for our food. Why is it, almost every nation in Europe and Asia have banned GMO’s? It because they are unsafe and you have a greater risk of cancer. Its because the farmers can spray more round up (Monsanto owns) on the crops, o and by the way, the FDA chairman was Monsanto’s former VP. And the FDA raised by 600% of how much round up and pesticeds one can eat and still be safe. Labeling should happen, whats the big deal? There isn’t a greater cost, its because if people knew what they were eating they would buy organic. They have to label everything in the store anyways. And farmers like GMO’s? Nope thats not true, because the farmers have to pay a royality to monsanto for using their seeds. Mainstream Media won’t cover the truth, and shocked that Rachael didn’t go out and talk to farmers about this. And remember more Round up, will end up in our drinking water, keep that in mind. Round up causes cancer, keep that in mind when you kids go to grab a drink of water. O yeah, if it comes out that GMO’s do cause cancer officaly from the FDA, you can’t sue Monsanto. They got that right in the last bill. Clarence Thomas used to be Monsanto’s top lawyer.

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