Nestle: "GMOs Are Unnecessary, But Our Customers Demand Them"Submitted by Allegory on Sat, 09/08/2012 - 10:57
Has Nestlé been caught in a contradiction? According to Take Part, they have. Nestlé USA has donated more than $1 million dollars to the “Say No to 37″ campaign, fighting against the proposed labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in California. Then, seemingly out of left field, a Nestlé executive said that GMOs are unnecessary and that the food industry would benefit from more sustainable approaches.
Hans Jöhr, corporate head of sustainable agriculture at Nestlé and honorary president of SAI Platform, a group of global food and drink companies focused on improving sustainability, told Food Navigator that GM food is not the ‘answer’ to feeding the world. According to Rod Addy at Food Navigator, Jöhr explained that “the food industry would reap more benefits from using resources more sustainably and employing other techniques,” including a heavy focus on addressing water issues.
Many people in the United States seem surprised by the Nestlé executive’s remarks, especially given Nestlé USA’s stance on GMOs. However, for a Swiss executive at a Swiss company, these opinions are fairly run of the mill. The Swiss were leaders in questioning GMOs in Europe and a ban on the use of GMOs in domestic agriculture was implemented in 2005. Although some GMO products are allowed, they are difficult to find since retailers assume that consumers will shun products that are clearly labeled as containing GMOs.This means that Nestlé is used to operating and successfully selling products in an environment where GMOs are scarce and highly questioned by consumers.