Let me guess. One of your favorite go-to meals is shells and white cheddar and you find yourself having to ration boxes of cheddar bunnies so that you don’t devour the whole package in one sitting. I don’t blame you. Nowadays it’s hard to find anything appetizing that won’t kill you, fund Monsanto, or most likely both.
If you’re the type that boycotts brands whose parent companies are against labeling GMOs and support big-biotech business, then you might need to learn how to make homemade mac n’ cheese. That’s right, your beloved Annie’s has sold out to GMO pedlar General Mills for a whopping $820 million.
In case you missed it, General Mills was one of the most generous donators toward the campaign to prevent GMO labeling initiative prop 37 in California. They put $1,135,300 (as of 2012) into anti-GMO-labeling propaganda in Cali. alone.
Yes, since then General Mills has made an effort to appeal to the anti-GMO movement by changing the ingredients in Cheerios into a product that is almost completely free of GMOs. However, General Mills saw no increase in sales from this effort to win over the awake and aware population thus CEO Ken Powell has proclaimed they will not be offering anymore GMO-free products in the future. It goes to show that this corporation is much more concerned with their profits than the health of their consumers.
For those who don’t care about funding parent companies and are merely concerned with the quality of the product, your answer is yet to be determined. In response to the decision Annie’s CEO, John Foraker had this to say:
“We are excited about this strategic combination, which will enable Annie’s to expand the reach and breadth of our high quality, great tasting organic and natural products, provide new opportunities for our employees, realize greater efficiencies in our operations, and maximize value for our stockholders. Powerful consumer shifts toward products with simple, organic and natural ingredients from companies that share consumers’ core values show no signs of letting up. Partnering with a company of General Mills’ scale and resources will strengthen our position at the forefront of this trend, enabling us to more rapidly and efficiently expand into new channels and product lines in a rapidly evolving industry environment.”
Mainstream media quickly asserted that this statement implies the ingredients of their products will not change. We here at Real Farmacy remain skeptical until we see a statement that literally says just that. Of course we still won’t give General Mills a dime (even though Cheddar Bunnies are delicious).
Emphasis was added to, “Realize greater efficiencies in our operations,” because that’s where our skepticism stems from. Does that mean that General Mills is going to make their factories more mechanically efficient? Are they going to pay their workers more “efficiently”? What if General Mills has a toxic ingredient to substitute that makes production more efficient and is more cost-efficient? Would Annie’s stand by their classic recipe or follow the money? (By the way, it seems as if they really like money).
For now I think I’ll stick with Amy’s Kitchen mac n’ cheese when I don’t have time to make it from scratch. Founded in 1987 they have remained private keeping all of their foods vegetarian and certified organic, plus they offer over 110 gluten-free options.
The way General Mills defends the use of GMOs is an interesting point to consider before supporting this soon-to-be parent company. The page on their website that claims they pay attention to the scientific community’s stance on GMO safety is completely outdated.
“On safety – our number one priority – we find broad global consensus among food and safety regulatory bodies that approved GM ingredients are safe.
Those who have approved biotech crops to be as safe and acceptable as their conventional counterparts include:…”
They then provide several links to “evidence” that GMOs are safe. The funny thing is, the first link brings you to “page not found” on the World Health Organization’s website.
The second link to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization actually questions the safety of GMOs and admits that:
FAO is also aware of the concern about the potential risks posed by certain aspects of biotechnology. These risks fall into two basic categories: the effects on human and animal health and the environmental consequences. Caution must be exercised in order to reduce the risks of transferring toxins from one life form to another, of creating new toxins or of transferring allergenic compounds from one species to another, which could result in unexpected allergic reactions. Risks to the environment include the possibility of outcrossing, which could lead, for example, to the development of more aggressive weeds or wild relatives with increased resistance to diseases or environmental stresses, upsetting the ecosystem balance. Biodiversity may also be lost, as a result of the displacement of traditional cultivars by a small number of genetically modified cultivars, for example.
The third link to the European Food Safety Authority is an assessment process for the “environmental risks” and “effects on human and animal health,” amongst other concerns. It doesn’t actually say anything about GM food being safe to grow or eat.
From there a few US.gov links are provided which of course proclaim that it is perfectly safe to eat pesticides, even if the rest of the world disagrees. As you may already know, this is of course because Monsanto and its cronies are the symptom of a corrupt United States government. With former VP of public policy for Monsanto, Michael R. Taylor, now serving as the Deputy Commissioner for foods at the FDA it’s hard to take anything the American government says about pesticides and GMOs seriously. And don’t forget about former Monsanto attorney Clarence Thomas who is now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court.
Considering the trend of the American food supply, if you’re not growing your own yet, you might want to start planning for next Spring. Grow as much organic food as you are able to, save seed for the following year, can what you can, and freeze what you can’t! Sharing honest food with neighbors, friends, and family is always a good idea too.