Did you know that a vast majority of fresh fruits and vegetables are “non-GMO” by default? It’s true! In the way the “GMO” is often defined, there are currently only 10 commercially available genetically engineered crops in the U.S.:
That being said, I think its worth repeating from time to time that California-based Mann’s Fresh Vegetables removed the “non-GMO” label off of its products and released this blog post and press release to explain why. It was written by the company’s previous director of marketing, Gina Nucci.
“With our Fresh Leaf Farms rebrand and re-launch of our Single Cut Lettuces, we thought it would be beneficial to use the non-GMO verified logo on the packaging. This was the first time we had ever used it, and we were attempting to appeal to millennial customers who are demanding much more transparency about where their food comes from than previous generations.
“When we prepared our packaging for Canada, we were told that we could not use the non-GMO verified logo there, because there are no GMO lettuces. This made us think deeper about the logo’s use and the perpetuation of food fears. The fact that we were also seeing the logo used on water, sea salt and — no joke — kitty litter made the decision an easy one”
So they removed it. The company also have a FAQ area on its website to share info with consumers that all of its vegetables are non-GMO and further explain:
“We will do our best to educate our consumers on the facts about GMO products and just how few there actually are in our Mann’s veggie world!” Nucci says.
Nick Saik from Know Ideas Media explains in this video how and why it happened. There is no such thing as GMO tuna, so thank you, Clover Leaf! Can’t wait to buy this at my first chance!
I love supporting any company that vows to educate and not mislead anyone. I am not a fan of meaningless labels, and products such as seafood and Mann’s lettuce do not have GMO counterparts anyway, so for that reason I am happy to help spread the word.
One of the most well-known violators of honest labeling is the Non-GMO Project — it’s a label we see too often on products for which a genetically engineered version doesn’t exist. But one part of the dishonesty with that label emerges when you read the asterisks and fine print on their website. It says that their products still may contain a small percentage of GMOs. It is all so misleading! Saik once again makes sense of this topic here in this video called “Non-GMO Project label doesn’t necessarily mean free of GMOs.”
My message to brands like Mann’s and Soylent: Keep up the great work by educating the masses about how GMOs play a major role in furthering agricultural production in a positive way. There is the adage that you cannot deceive your customers with deceptive marketing scare tactic and continue to thrive. Considering all of the positive attention Clover Leaf and Mann’s received for making the decision to strip non-GMO labeling off of their products, they deserve a lot of credit.
Will this trend continue, and will more companies “MANN up?” I sure hope so … and vote with your dollars. I’ll take my food with a side of science, please.
Michelle Miller, the Farm Babe, is an Iowa-based farmer, public speaker, and writer, who lives and works with her boyfriend on their farm, which consists of row crops, beef cattle, and sheep. She believes education is key in bridging the gap between farmers and consumers.