5 good reads about Chipotle’s bad move to ban GMOs in its stores

May 4, 2015

4 Min Read
5 good reads about Chipotle’s bad move to ban GMOs in its stores

One of the big and scary buzzwords of the day is GMO or genetically modified organism. Unfortunately, some retailers, restaurants and grocery chains use fear-mongering as a cheap trick to make money, and love to spout about the perceived horrors of this advancement in food production. One of the best (or worst) practitioners of this is Chipotle.

Ignoring all science, Chipotle recently announced it would no longer serve GMOs in its stores. Not only is agriculture speaking out against the burrito chain’s latest move, but it seems the media has a lot to say about the announcement as well. Here are five headlines about Chipotle’s anti-GMO crusade worth reading today:

1. “Chipotle’s GMO message is muddled” by the Chicago Tribune editorial board

Here is an excerpt: “Scroll deeper into the Chipotle website and you'll learn that, in fact, many of the beverages sold at Chipotle do contain GMOs (in the high-fructose corn syrup), and some of the meat and dairy served at Chipotle is likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed. Still, they're trying.

“What troubles us is that Chipotle has embraced the fearmongering of some food, environmental and health activists who have turned ‘GMO’ into a dirty word. By declaring its goal to eliminate GMO food from its kitchens, Chipotle may be pleasing its health-conscious guacamole fans, but it is missing an opportunity to educate them on the nuances of food science.”

READ: 4 reasons Chipotle won't get my business

2. “Chipotle is promoting opportunistic anti-science hysteria” by Jesse Singal for New York Magazine

Singal writes, “Most consumers aren’t going to carefully analyze the scientific consensus on a given issue — who has time for that? Rather, they use mental shortcuts, taking cues from people and institutions they trust. Chipotle has developed a reputation for corporate responsibility and making careful decisions about the ingredients on its menu, and Chipotle ditched GMOs — therefore, GMOs must be bad. Chipotle scores points, science loses. Surely other companies looking to capitalize off of a veneer of corporate do-goodery are keeping a close eye on this.”

3. "Why we can't take Chipotle's GMO announcement all that seriously” by Dan Charles for NPR’s The Salt

Charles calls “bull” on Chipotle’s promise to go GMO-free, listing all of the foods, including beef, that utilize GMO crops.

Charles writes, “It would be much harder, and presumably more expensive, to use only meat from pigs or chickens that consumed a non-GMO diet. That's because the amount of corn or soybeans required to feed Chipotle's animals is vastly larger than what's needed for its tortillas or cooking oil. Finding a new supply of animal feed would raise costs, so Chipotle isn't doing it.”

READ: Chipotle continues to use fear to sell burritos

4. “These charts show every genetically modified food people already eat in the U.S.” by Dave Johnson for TIME

Johnson lists the many food items that have benefited from the advancements of GMOs that consumers are already eating without realizing it. 

5. “Is Chipotle playing the public for chumps?” by Chuck Jolley for Cattle Network

Jolley writes, “Chipotle claims they're taking this anti-GMO action to responsibly raise the bar.  I'd like to rephrase that claim just a little bit.  I think they've been standing irresponsibly at the bar for far too long and the public needs to administer a field sobriety test.”

What do you think about Chipotle’s recent move? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

By the way, last week, I promised a photo contest to start on Monday, but I wanted to share this timely topic about Chipotle first, so check back tomorrow for complete contest details. Thanks!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.

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