The Dannon Company released a statement Tuesday after being called out by agricultural organizations for its plans to phase out GMOs in some major brands for the sake of sustainability.
In the letter sent Monday to Dannon head of U.S. operations Mariano Lozano, the farm groups said that the company’s strategy to eliminate GMOs “is the exact opposite of the sustainable agriculture that you claim to be seeking. Your pledge would force farmers to abandon safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years while greatly reducing the carbon footprint of American agriculture.”
U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) chair Nancy Kavazanjian says they publicized the letter because they wanted to Dannon to hear the voices of farmers and ranchers. “We talked to them and tried to have some meetings with them and just couldn’t get any response so we really needed to raise our voices and put an end to this marketing ‘puffery’ that’s going on,” said Kavazanjian. “Dannon seems to imply that GMO crop traits make us less sustainable and that’s absolutely the opposite.”
Learn more in this interview with Nancy: Interview with USFRA Chair Nancy Kavazanjian
This is yet another example of public opinion, couched in ignorance, that is driving business and policy decisions. In addition to vastly increased production and a greatly improved carbon footprint with GMO crops, the environment has been spared of millions of tons of crop protection chemicals over the past 20 years. And, it’s counter-productive to long-term food security of third-world countries and to the world.