Last week, GMO Inside, a seven-member anti-GMO coalition of groups opposed to using genetically-modified organisms or ingredients, opened a national campaign against Chobani, Inc. Chobani is the top Greek yogurt brand in the United States, and most of its milk comes from New York dairy farms.
The coalition wants Chobani to cease marketing its products as "real" and "natural" until the company switches to verified non-GMO milk sources. "Chobani has an opportunity to be a leader amongst meat and dairy companies by listening to its customers and ensuring its cows are given non-GMO food," says GMO Inside Campaign Director Elizabeth O'Connell.
Via the Web, Chobani consumers are invited to sign a petition requesting the company use milk from cows that have not been fed GMOs at www.GMOInside.org/TakeAction.
Consumers can also take action on Facebook by visiting www.facebook.com/GMOInside. Dairy farmers can also do likewise, but with no guarantee those responses will be posted.
Chobani, known to be monitoring its Facebook page for discussion this topic, is sensitive to consumer feedback about GMOs, adds O'Connell. Farm Progress contacted Chobani for a response to the controversial campaign. (See Chobani's response.)
Chobani yogurt labels specify that only natural ingredients are used and that the milk comes from cows not treated with rBST. Anti-GMO coalitioners missed the point that "REAL" is the copyrighted seal of assurance for U.S.-produced dairy foods.
GMO research loosely interpreted
GMO Inside's O'Connell indicated there was research to back up the claim that "Cows living on industrial farms eat GMO feed", and that these GM particles have shown up in the organs and milk of animals fed GMOs. She inferred research documentation for the rumen pass-through. But none could be found..
O-Connell also cited a recent research finding that pigs fed an entirely GMO diet suffered from severe stomach inflammation when compared to pigs given non-GMO feed. But that wasn't the whole story.
BIO, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, points out that the same research also found that more pigs fed non-GMO feed had inflamed stomachs than those fed GMO feed, and there was no difference in feed intake.
And, the percentage of animals with a "severe" inflammation was higher in pigs fed non-GM feed. Such inflammation is common in animals with high feed intake or feed that has been finely ground.
The GMO Inside coalition includes Green America, Food Democracy Now!, GMO Free USA, Institute for Responsible Technology, Label GMOs, Nutiva, and Food Babe. To check out their logic and campaign, click on GMO Inside and www.GreenAmerica.org.