GMO Concerns May be Too Late to Matter

The public concern over GMOs and GMO labeling has been gaining momentum. From a practical standpoint however, most restauranteurs will find it very difficult to address those concerns, at least in the short term.

Farmers by and large love GMO crops. They have higher yields, more reliable yields, and produce food in places where it wasn't possible before. As a result, GMO farming has grown significantly over the past two decades. Today, almost 90% of U.S. corn acreage and 94% of soybean acreage is genetically engineered. Even acreage not planted with GMO based seeds is susceptible to cross-pollination. All it takes is a strong wind moving in the wrong direction. The Grocery Manufacturers Association now estimates that between 70 and 80 percent of the food Americans consume includes genetically modified ingredients.

Consumers and restaurants will need to be extremely diligent if they want to keep GMO food out of their meals and it won’t come cheap. Most non-GMO contracts specify the harvest must be at least 98% free of GMO strains.

Genetically modified food is here to stay unless a significant health risk is clearly identified. After two decades of practice without incident, that will unlikely happen anytime soon.


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