Like many opponent’s of genetically modified foods, I was outraged this week when I read about the recent controversy surrounding the use of GMO’s in Kashi cereals. For years, I have been under the apparently false impression that Kashi products are healthy and “natural” – though of course that term is not regulated and can mean whatever a company wants it to mean.
Quickly, though, I realized that of course Kashi would contain GMO’s – it’s owned by Kellogg. Large food corporations are not primarily concerned with the health of the their customer – they will slap anything with a “natural” label if it means increasing sales. This is what is dangerous about the corporate control of our food supply. At least in my experience, smaller food companies and local, organic farmers take pride in the quality of their products in a way that large corporations do not.
Of course, some of the responsibility lies with the consumer, as well, who can choose to purchase whole, healthy foods or processed junk foods. With GMO’s, however, the choice is not as clear because companies are not required to label products that contain GMO’s. This is why the campaign to label such products is vitally important. In an economy governed by a reverence for the bottom line, it is our responsibility to vote with our dollars. But we need transparency and access to truthful information to do so.