The story goes that Friends of the Earth embarrassed Monsanto back in 1999 when they exposed the fact that in Monsanto’s cafeteria at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the food service provider removed genetically modified foods from their menu.
Back in 1999, the GM food topic was a hot button in much of Europe. Even the British Parliament banned GM food. It was a common response back in the day, so it was nothing extraordinary that a caterer would make a call to pull GM foods since most of their clients and potential clients didn’t want to eat GM food.
The canteen at Monsanto’s High Wycombe base was run by an outside company, Sutcliffe Catering, which is owned by Granada Food Services.
Mike Batchelor, quality systems director of Granada Food Services, said in a statement: “In response to concern raised by our customers over the use of GM (foods) and to comply with government legislation, we have taken the decision to remove, as far as practicable, GM soya and maize from all food products served in our restaurant.”
He added that the step had been taken “to ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve”.
So it wasn’t Monsanto that “pulled” the GM foods but it definitely makes a juicy story of corporate hypocracy. As we approach California’s Prop 37, to label genetically modified food, the big picture is that back in 1999 most of Europe was already alarmed by the prospect of GM food and took measures to protect their citizens. It’s taken the U.S. thirteen years to get the conversation into the public domain and on a ballot.
I think that’s reason enough to require labeling. If it’s no different than regular food, why the need for a patent? What’s the big deal about a label? Every other consumer product has one. These are the questions that certain companies don’t want consumers to ask. Monopolies always hold on tight. They stand to lose an enormous amount of money because in a free market, price is a function of only two factors: an informed buyer and alternative sources of supply.
If you eat, this is your issue. Check out Nutrition News CSI Health Crimes: GMO’s and find out more. Europe has informed buyers, now it’s our turn.