Chipotle announced that they’re getting rid of all GM food on their menu. If you check out their cute little explanation as to why, the observant reader will quickly identify some major pseudoscientific claims.
Chiptole’s reasons are:
- Scientists haven’t proven GM food safe (they have)
- GM food damages the environment (they don’t)
- “Chipotle should be a place to where people can eat food made with non-GMO ingredients” (they’re not actually making a point here)
A tax on the ignorant
The scientific consensus is that GM food is safe. That leaves only one real reason for Chipotle to go anti-GMO: Marketing. This is completely PR move to win fans with the anti-GM and anti-science crowds (and get their money). A PEW Research Center study found that while 88% of scientists agree that GM food is safe, only 37% of the public thinks so (also: the general public wants to drill more offshore and increase fracking, against the majority opinion of scientists… go figure). A third of the general public deny evolution as being a fact, too… That’s not really the crowd I want to be affiliated with.
So you want to go full anti-science on us? Fine. It’s bound to happen sometime. But, what’s somewhat comical (and provides further evidence that Chipotle’s motivations are purely PR-based) is this statement they make near the bottom of their announcement:
“The meat and dairy products we buy come from animals that are not genetically modified. But it is important to note that most animal feed in the U.S. is genetically modified, which means that the meat and dairy served at Chipotle are likely to come from animals given at least some GMO feed.”
And also this…
“Many of the beverages sold in our restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients, including those containing corn syrup, which is almost always made from GMO corn.”
If they really cared about removing GM food from their menu, they would stop selling soda, chicken, and pork (they already claim their grass-fed beef is GM free). If this is the narrative they want to create, they need to remain consistent with themselves. There’s a plethora of non-GM beverages that they could be offering in their stores, so the options are out there for them. But willl actually decline to renew their soda contract with Coca-Cola? Of course not. And why would that be? Money.