“WHEN IT COMES TO OUR FOOD, GENETICALLY MODIFIED INGREDIENTS DON’T MAKE THE CUT.” -Chipotle Mexican Grill
In April of 2015, Chipotle Mexican Grill proclaimed its decision to terminate the use of genetically modified ingredients. According to Chipotle Mexican Grill, “A GMO is created by inserting genes from one species (typically bacteria or a virus) into the DNA of another.”
Now let’s take a look at some official definitions according to dictionary.com:
A gene is the basic physical unit of heredity; a linear sequence of nucleotides along a segment of DNA that provides the coded instructions for synthesis of RNA, which, when translated into protein, leads to the expression of hereditary character.
Bacteria are ubiquitous one-celled organisms, spherical, spiral, or rod-shaped and appearing singly or in chains, comprising the Schizomycota, a phylum of the kingdom Monera, various species of which are involved in fermentation, putrefaction, infectious diseases, or nitrogen fixation.
A virus is an ultramicroscopic, metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals.
Despite promoting itself through a deceptive definition of GMOs and a series of ridiculous statements regarding its alleged “GMO-Free” menu (click here for a timeline of Chipotle’s claims), what is Chipotle’s motive? Are they honestly advocating against GMOs for the safety of their consumers? In this case, I would strongly encourage Chipotle’s CEOs to continue their research in relation to the safety GMOs. Do they care about their customers? Of course they care about their money.
The problem arising in the Chipotle controversy is not about GMOs, food safety, or anything else concerning “food with integrity” claims. The problem is the image Chipotle portrays about today’s agriculture. In an attempt to achieve their popularity goals, Chipotle has sent consumers into, yet another, phase of confusion. As agriculturalists, it’s our job not just to inform consumers of the truth, but live it by continuing to produce the high quality, efficient, and safe food that we have for present and future generations to come.