Major Health Foods Manufacturer Takes Pro-Genetically-Modified Stance

February 22, 2000
Business Wire

( ), a major health foods manufacturer and the nationÕs largest maker of "vegetarian jerkies," announced it has broken ranks with Greenpeace and other environmental groups over the issue of genetically-modified foods.

Not only is the company resisting pressure from environmentalists to take a "non-GM" (short for "non-genetically-modified") stance, but itÕs actually promising to use genetically modified ingredients in its in-house brands. Lumen Foods is, to date, the only U.S. food processing company to take this position.

The decision comes on the heels of announcements by much larger food companies (i.e. Frito-Lay, Heinz, Gerber, etc.) to either ban GM ingredients from their products, or, in the case of Frito-Lay, request that their growers avoid GM seed. All have made the decision following vigorous pressure from anti-GM environmental activists.

"They have it all wrong," said Lumen FoodsÕ President, Greg Caton, "There is no credible scientist in the world today who can show that so-called genetically modified foods are any less healthful than those made from traditional hybrid seed. In fact, the reverse is true. The FDA, USDA, and EPA have all done exhaustive research into their safety and have found nothing that remotely suggests that either the consumer or the environment are at risk from GM seed."

To help consumers understand some of the issues surrounding genetically-modified foods, Lumen Foods has set up a section on its web site, called "Biotech Education Series," that contains government-sponsored studies, reprinted articles, and letters from scientists from around the world. (See

"We understand that Greenpeace and other eco-groups have to have fund-raising issues," Caton notes. "But their current campaign amounts to a declaration of war on agricultural biotech science, and itÕs going to be their Waterloo. What they are doing makes as much sense as calling for a ban on all computers because their monitors emit low-grade electromagnetic radiation. ItÕs absurd. Once the public has figured out what they have done, the greatest danger is that in the future, when really important environmental matters are at stake, few people will listen to them, and their more intelligent arguments will be relegated to the left-wing fringe. This has to be stopped."

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