Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Becoming Aware

We are sure you are all at least a little bit aware of the recent newsworthy "discovery" that the Kashi products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It seems to us as though this is akin to the "discoveries" made by europeans when they first began exploration of this vast continent. So many "new" places, animals, people and things were "discovered" that not a day seemed to go by without something new turning up! Funny thing is, all of that was there before they found it! So, for folks to realize that Kashi contained GMOs and for it to become such a big news story was a bit overblown. However, if a vast new awareness of the utter pervasiveness of GMOs is what results from this, then Hurray!!!!

We are of the mindset that from the standpoint of advertising, Kashi did nothing wrong. They never falsely claimed to be organic or non-GMO. They merely used the all-to-common word natural in selling their products. Completely legal, albeit a somewhat shady approach, much like the ads that make the claim that their products are artisanal.

Do we like what Kashi has done to raise their profile amongst health conscious consumers by claiming to be natural for all these years, no. We also do not condemn them for practices that we, as consumers, have allowed them to engage in for the sole purpose of profit at the expense of our health and the health of our planet. The main dynamic we see that is wrong and that must be changed is the way consumers get educated and access knowledge and then act on such knowledge. Any consumer with basic knowledge of GMOs would know that if it is not organic and it is made from soy (91% GMO in US) or corn (85% GMO in US), the likelihood is extremely high that it will contain GMOs. In fact, it is estimated that over 70% of all processed foods in the United States contain GMOs.

GMO crops are rapidly failing on a global level, creating super weeds and super pests, and they are unproven regarding their safety for consumption. Additionally, the risk of cross-pollination with organically grown crops is potentially very damaging to that industry's integrity, not to mention the integrity of the crops themselves and the eco-systems they grown in!

What can consumers do? Get informed, make smart choices and make noise when something bothers you!

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