Make a Choice on GMOs and Defend It

GMOs are a huge issue. Yeah, I know: duh! But I witnessed their importance a week or so ago at the Natural Products Expo West. For a March 7 press conference and meeting, backers of the various GMO labeling initiatives booked a pretty big room, which legally held 178. I was one of 50 or so people huddled in the lobby. Several more people came, gave up and left during the hourlong event.

At the end, I buttonholed an acquaintance from a small but very high-end food company. “I didn’t know you guys were anti-GMO,” I said. “We’re not…not really,” she said. “We’re getting pressured into it from Whole Foods and some other customers. We say we’re organic and natural, but they want non-GMO certification. The cost of the testing, the certification and the repackaging will price us out of the category. I don’t know what to do.”

My advice to her: Make a decision. Take a stand, and proudly stick by it. No one says you have to label “contains GMOs” on your packaging. You just won’t be able to claim “GMO free.” You’ll lose the consumers who care about such certification but retain—within your current price point—the ones that don’t care.

Decide one way or the other. Be prepared to defend your choice. And stick by it.