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Idaho sugar industry plans a response to GMO critics

Consumer pressure for national companies to switch to non-GMO ingredients is costing Idaho sugar beet farmers business. File photo.

Consumer pressure for national companies to switch to non-GMO ingredients is costing Idaho sugar beet farmers business. File photo.

Consumer pressure for non-genetically modified food products is placing a strain on Idaho sugar beet farmers.

Idaho sugar beet farmers have grown increasingly dependent on genetically modified seeds for cost savings and greater yields over the last decade. But large companies like Hershey are switching from genetically modified beets to traditional beets or cane sugar to fill their needs.

Idaho farmers are now asking if it’s worth growing sugar beets at all, said Garth Taylor, extension specialist at the University of Idaho Department of Agricultural Economics.

“Farmers are saying they won’t go back to hoeing sugar beets,” Taylor said. “They say they would rather farm potatoes or another crop then go back to conventional seeds.”

The pressure to go non-GMO has affected business at Amalgamated Sugar, the Idaho cooperative that is the country’s second biggest producer of sugar made from sugar beets.

“Hershey, Danone and Del Monte – I could show you a list,” said John McCreedy, president of Amalgamated Sugar, which is owned by farmers. “We have lost 15 percent of our customers who used to buy beet sugar and cane sugar interchangeably based on price, quality and delivery service. They will now not buy beet sugar regardless of the price because they want to be able to label their food products non-GMO.”

Many Idaho farmers use a genetically modified seed that is resistant to certain herbicides, engineered by companies like Monsanto. Since 2008, most sugar beet farmers have switched to using genetically modified seeds because it saves them money and produces a higher yield, according to Amalgamated Sugar. McCreedy said the sugar is genetically identical to conventional sugar  because the modified part of the beet, proteins and DNA, is removed when the beet is turned into sugar.

“We think we have the best of both worlds,” McCreedy said. “I say that because we have tremendous productivity on the farm and the net result is a  product that is identical physically and nutritionally to the product we had before genetic engineering.

“There is nothing for the consumer to complain about,” McCreedy said. “If they had a concern about GMOs or genetic engineering it should completely go away when we talk about this product – sugar.

“Sugar has no DNA or protein in it,” he said.

The introduction of genetically modified seeds have helped to improve sugar beet production 63 percent per acre for Amalgamated Sugar’s 750 farmers, and to increase production by 76 percent over the last 20 years, according to the cooperative. The seeds also help farmers save money on diesel fuel and pesticides, McCreedy said.

“If you talk to our growers, they will tell you they won’t go back to conventional seeds,” he said. “They say, ‘I don’t want that lifestyle, I don’t want to scramble for labor to hand hoe and hand weed my fields, and I don’t want to have to put more chemicals on my field.'”

John McCreedy

John McCreedy

Food companies are increasingly moving to non-GMO ingredients for their products.

The food news website Food Navigator USA reported that non-GMO food labels have increased significantly over the last decade. In 2009, 1.9 percent of food and beverage products were labeled non-GMO. In 2015, 15.7 percent of food and beverage products made non-GMO claims.

A Pew Research Center survey found nearly 40 percent of adults believe non-GMO food is safer. There are now 36,000 products carrying a non-GMO label, McCreedy said.

Amalgamated Sugar plans to launch a national campaign about the science behind GMOs, but it is having a hard time convincing other agricultural companies to join its cause, McCreedy said. It’s working with a Washington, D.C. firm on a $30 million-a-year media campaign and has reached out to trade associations representing other highly genetically engineered crops such as corn to raise money, but has only raised $16 million.

“I have been on the war path for the last year trying to get funding,” McCreedy said. “We are having a hard time getting the agricultural community together to finish the funding because the ag economy is bad right now and folks have a difficult time thinking a campaign like this can be successful.”

Amalgamated Sugar earns between $700 million and $900 million a year depending on sugar beet prices. Sugar beets account for 1.7 percent of Idaho’s gross total product and Amalgamated Sugar processes about 7 million tons of sugar beets a year, producing 12 percent of the sugar made in the United States, McCreedy said.

“It has been a little discouraging,” he said. “If we have to we will run a pilot project on our own, but it will take the agricultural community standing steadfast and staying  committed to a long-term educational campaign if we are going to see change.”

About Benton Alexander Smith

Benton Alexander Smith is a reporter for the Idaho Business Review, covering the Idaho Legislature, new business, technology and financial services.

66 comments

  1. Why is this discussion of precision important? Because for the last seventy years all chemical and biological technologies, from genetic engineering to pesticides, have been built on a myth of precision and specificity. They have all been adopted under the pretense that they would function without side effects or unexpected complications. Yet the extraordinary disasters and repercussions of DDT, leaded paint, agent orange, atrazine, C8, asbestos, chlordane, PCBs, and so on, when all is said and done, have been stories of the steady unraveling of a founding myth of precision and specificity.

    Nevertheless, with the help of industry propagandists, their friends in the media, even the United Nations, we are once again being preached the gospel of precision. But no matter how you look at it, precision is a fable and should be treated as such.

    The issues of CRISPR and other related new “genome editing” biotechnologies are the subject of intense activity behind the scenes. The US Department of Agriculture has just explained that it will not be regulating organisms whose genomes have been edited since it doesn’t consider them to be GMOs at all. The EU was about to call them GMOs but the US has caused them to blink, meanwhile the US is in the process of revisiting its GMO regulatory environment entirely. Will future safety regulations of GMOs be based on a schoolboy version of genetics and an interpretation of genome editing crafted in a corporate public relations department? If history is any guide it will.

  2. “They have total control.

    Process is replicated many times over and there are many thousands of transformation events. Any abnormalities either do not survive or are autoclaved.

    The genomes are sequence and the precise edit is clearly made. Sequencing is not a huge task these days.”

    LIE – they do not understand the overall effect.

    Read this: God’s Red Pencil? CRISPR and The Three Myths of Precise Genome Editing

  3. They have total control.

    Process is replicated many times over and there are many thousands of transformation events. Any abnormalities either do not survive or are autoclaved.

    The genomes are sequence and the precise edit is clearly made. Sequencing is not a huge task these days.

  4. For anyone reading this that isn’t Ted or Ken or Rose or hiding under rocks from communists and “mad scientists”. CRISPR can be used to edit out gene function in crops. There is no foreign DNA in the end product. Lookup CRISPR to see exactly how it is down. Although, it happens that CRISPR can cause off-targeting cuts, those edits are rare and screened out through back crossing the CRISPR edit to the original parent.

    This technology has great potential for increasing useful traits in our germplasm repositories. It’s dangerous if used certain ways in the wrong hands. Ken isn’t even creative enough to come up with a plausible dooms day scenario.

  5. “once we know what we are editing its out of control”
    Yes out of control.
    Any honest GMO scientist (oxymoron?) will admit they do not have even partial control of all the consequences.

  6. Time to buy some green houses and hope I can still find some normal seeds.. what a fiasco

  7. mutagenesis is still ok and will not result in North Korean botulism? It’s ok to make random unforeseen edits and serve it up in 1000s of different plant varieties, but once we know what we are editing its out of control

  8. I was hoping that would push you to the extreme. I’d say mission accomplished. “It’s scary, and easy, and out of control, and botulism (which can’t be accomplished with CRISPR by the way).” It can’t be all those things. They are conflicting. We can’t know exactly what we are doing to engineer in botulism and at the same time not know enough to predict the outcome.

  9. Well Ken, my friend, it looks like there is just no oversight on any of this crazy gmo stuff going on. Someone needs to reign in these so called “scientists”
    I think it should be manditory they go through a full mental evaluation before concocting all these foods they plan on feeding to the public. It’s sad when other countries won’t even accept our food aid anymore. It’s just so irresponsible and out of control. At the expense of the health of all the people. Hopefully the USA will come out of the fog of chemicals we are engulfed in and eating, long enough to get a glimpse of what’s going on.

  10. “What are you even going to do about Gene edited crops, Ken? A scientist just served himself a healthy dose of CRISPR edited kale. Non-gmo, no foreign dna.”

    So you are claiming this is OK because you cannot easily be caught?
    CRISPR is HIGHLY dangerous because anyone can do it and the side effects are not predictable.

    North Korean special CRISPR botulism anyone?

  11. What do these mad scientists want? A pat on the back for their creativity or what? What’s next, shrimp flavored grapes? I don’t think people are all out against minor improvements but, if a gmo crop has the ability to alter someone else’s organic crop they shouldn’t be approved. And, pesticides and weed killers in the seed? I don’t think you have to be scientist to know both of those are not good for people, animals, aquatic life, or the environment as a whole. Who is in charge of approving this toxic junk? Too bad there isn’t more of an effort to find natural, safe, effective means. Whatever happened to lady bugs? Oh yeah, all the pesticides probably killed them, or any of the other good bugs out there.

  12. What are you even going to do about Gene edited crops, Ken? A scientist just served himself a healthy dose of CRISPR edited kale. Non-gmo, no foreign dna.

  13. Ahhh Thomas Baldwin got #triggered and let lose with a long c/p of falsehoods direct from the Big GMO database.

    PS GMOs a are pushed, and climate denial is pushed for exactly the same reason – corporate profit over health of humans and health of the earth.

  14. Activists like Ken, paint all people against his views as Monsatanists.

    It’s unfair and incorrect. I’ve talked to a Monsanto employee maybe twice in my life. Mostly to rail on them for how they handled PR in the first place and now we have lots of Kens running around convincing people not to vaccinate, or that climate change isn’t real, or that GMOs are OMG. This Fake news and post-truth era is where Zen and Ken frolic. Don’t let them.

    I did my bachelors at SUNY-ESF, where I got hands on experience with the American Chestnut project through a genetics course, and did graduate level research into developing molecular markers for testing of a forest fungus. Genetics is useful at all levels besides genetic engineering. I have a PhD from the University of Georgia studying mycotoxin producing fungi. I’m in a post-doc continuing my study of mycotoxigenic fungi and how to avoid them.

    I’m concerned about my intake of sugar, cholesterol, and unhealthy fats. I’m concerned about pesticide/herbicide run off and appropriate use of fertilizers (fecal or synthetic). I’m concerned about farmer loses due to mycotoxin contamination and health affects of these real carcinogenic compounds. Aflatoxin is an incredibly potent carcinogen. I will gladly take herbicide or pesticide residue exposure over exposure to aflatoxin.

    Am I not concerned about Genetic engineering? How many of us drive engineered cars, on engineered roads and bridges, to work in engineered buildings. Genetic engineering has far better records than any of those human endeavors and I doubt any one of us has a full understanding of how any it was engineered. However, I do know that

    – Genetic engineering replaces fungicides, insecticides, and nematocides with genes. At worst, it replaces more dangerous herbicides and soil erosion with a more effective and farless dangerous herbicide.

    – Genetic engineering is a continuation of a natural spectrum of constant change and sharing of DNA. You share 50% of your genes with a banana, 90% with a cat. Every single sweet potato you ever ate is a GMO with transgenes from bacteria through the exact process used to engineer most GMOs. Genes are transfered horizontally between species constantly in evolutionary history and they are hallmarks of evolution. If the tardigrade genome where a cherry pie, a decent slice would actually be peach, apple, mince meat, blueberry, pecan, pumpkin, and lemon meringue.

    – Genetic engineered crops are the most tested and introduces the least change of all the breeding processes. There is nothing magical or spiritual about breeding. It produces variation and is the point of sexual reproduction. Some progeny die and some live. Those combinations of genetic traits in the survival where more fit for the selection. This “nature is best” B.S. is just another way of being religious, where God = nature and change = sin.

  15. Sorry sock puppet I do not debate your ilk.
    Waste of time – and earns you more Monsanto bucks.

  16. Notice how Ken doesn’t say “challenge accepted!, meet you there”. Strange, as a “sock puppet” I would easily defeated.

    Zen, It seems women of science are also quite capable of producing offspring.
    http://www.sciencemomsdoc.com/the-science-moms.html

    And their conclusions are markedly different when they bypass the fear you instill and rely on the data and their own knowledge of how genetic engineering works. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14636778.2017.1287561

    Also, I’ll take their advice over someone selling “molecular hydrogen”.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlInDwKKKrg

  17. It’s no insult to call Thomas Baldwin a “GMO operative” because that is just what he is.
    Vet him..
    Trolls for Big GMO day after day. Is he a Wager sock puppet?

  18. An important fact would be, nutritional value of GMO foods are not enough to sustain us long term.. anyone who would defend GMO must be getting paid for it.. I know we are just talking sugar beets but, we are inundated with GMO garbage in everything we eat anymore. It’s got to stop.. I won’t eat it anymore, I won’t even feed it to my animals anymore. It’s garbage.

  19. Thomas, How about “Don’t mess with Moms?”
    I wonder why Pro GMOers don’t debate a room full of moms with children who have gotten better when they avoid GMOs and related toxins? Because they won’t win. No one can alter the mind of a mother, who buys 85% of the food, to purposely harm their child. Millions of moms know GMOs can harm their kids and more are finding out every day. There is no way to unlearn it. No fancy marketing that will win us over.
    Sales of GMO are dropping and organic sales are gaining. 93% of soybeans in the USA are GMO and 1.9 billion bushels are exported yearly- and yet 80% of the soybeans used in American organic food is IMPORTED. Does that make sense to you? How about American farmers feed America first?

  20. No surprise ken gallaher, won’t debate me live. Because he won’t and calling everyone you disagree with “a Big GMO operative” is not a fact, it’s an insult people intelligence.

  21. Not surprising at all to see Big GMO operatives like Thomas Baldwin slinging insults…and no facts.
    They get PAID.

  22. Fascinating to see the “Don’t mess with God’s creation” conservative ignorance, with the “Don’t mess with nature’s creation” liberal ignorance merge on this comment section.

    Some have Satan and some have Monsatan. To each their own ignorance.

  23. Well said Anne. Jacob I never said only GMOs are sprayed with glyphosate.
    The EPA allows glyphosate residues on over 158 foods:http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=195f8b224b4d7d5ab8cfff3bf0f92f68&node=se40.24.180_1364&rgn=div8
    due to spraying before planting and as a dessicant.

    And that means the co formulants are on out foods as well, as glyphosate is never used alone. Those co formulants are 1000 X more toxic, and never presented to the EPA to be safe.

    Here are is study showing the glyphosate levels below EPA allowable levels are toxic. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S027869151530034X

    For instance, causes harm to testes.
    https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/yesmaam/pages/1205/attachments/original/1430765426/Roundup_toxic_to_testes_calcium_implicated_2014.pdf?1430765426

    and birth defects:
    http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/yesmaam/pages/680/attachments/original/1393210257/Carrasco_research_paper_Teratogenic_Effects.pdf?1393210257

    There are plenty more studies here: http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/data

  24. “Virtually all food has had its DNA modified by humans. In fact agriculture could by definition be the manipulation of the DNA of plants and animals to suit our needs.”
    By natural hybridization – NOT by GE.

    “GE is just the latest most precise method we have ever used to modify the DNA of our food.”
    GE is NOT precise – the floggers of this dangerous technology have NO IDEA of the over all effects.
    ” I would be very happy to help you learn about this technology.”
    I would be happy to flog some more lies from my Big GMO minders.

    “there is a great deal of false information about GE crops and derived foods on the web and the average person is not able to differentiate between the real science and the prolific pseudo-science designed to generate fear.”
    I spread lots of lie so I know

    ” I have been working in this area of science for a long time and would like to help.”
    I am a failed PhD candidate and lab grunt. I make a living as a Big GMO operative.

  25. Well, it’s time for all this to stop. People were living just fine (and healthier) before all this artificial modified garbage started. The drug industry is a whole other matter. Time to search for more natural effective means of farming. Practices that aren’t leaving a residual build up of toxic garbage. It all comes down to greed. Any way you look at it. You know it. By the way, the book I was referring to as far as people living longer dates farther back than what you’re thinking. You probably never heard of it, it’s called the Bible. Man has been trying to play God since the beginning and it’s slowly killing us all.

  26. Rose
    I am not sure where you read people lived longer in the past. That is not true. 1900 the life expectancy was 50. It has been steadily rising ever since and now we live longer than ever before.

    Virtually all food has had its DNA modified by humans. In fact agriculture could by definition be the manipulation of the DNA of plants and animals to suit our needs.

    GE is just the latest most precise method we have ever used to modify the DNA of our food. I would be very happy to help you learn about this technology. there is a great deal of false information about GE crops and derived foods on the web and the average person is not able to differentiate between the real science and the prolific pseudo-science designed to generate fear. I have been working in this area of science for a long time and would like to help.

    cheers

  27. Ann
    Its not nice to insult people. The idea that Europe rejects GMO’s is not correct. They import approximately 40 million tonnes of GE feed each year for their livestock. They just don’t let their own farmers grow the GE crops.

    Perhaps you can explain these quotes from the European Academies Science Advisory Council 2013 report-Planting the Future:

    “There is no validated evidence the GM crops have greater adverse impact on health or the environment that any other breeding method…There is compelling evidence that GM crops can contribute to sustainable development goals with benefits to farmers, consumers the environment and the economy…It is vital the sustainable agricultural production and food securities harnesses biotechnology in all its facets.”

    I know you have read a great deal that says otherwise but these are the conclusions of global science and should be considered carefully.

  28. Jacob, let me get this straight, so, food and seeds weren’t created by GOD? Wow! And I bet we all created ourselves too right? Did you know, a person could live for hundreds of years in the past? The average lifespan today doesn’t come close to that. All this modified chemical junk we are eating, wearing, and polluting the earth with is killing us. Plain and simple. Not only is it in our food but, in clothing, in the soil, in our WATER! It all comes down to greed and one mans profit!Natural Organic might cost a little more but, what’s your health and life worth?

  29. Exactly. If we stop buying it, they will stop making it. They do it in Europe, we can do it here.

  30. The consumers do not want your GMO product. Keep growing them if you insist. I and we will continue to reject them
    When you transition your farms to organic your business will grow

  31. Nice try. Yes, organic farmers use the bt toxin ON the plants. It degrades in sunglight. It is NOT engineered into EVERY cell of the plant. You don’t see organic corn being registered as a pesticide, now do you? And yes, us humans have made changes to the food we eat over the millennia, But it was done working WITH nature. No where in nature would you see the DNA of one species being forced into the DNA of another.

    Take a look around, our population, no, our planet is getting sicker and sicker. We need to move towards a more plant-based sustainable organic farming system. Grow food for people, not factory farm animals. There is more than enough to feed everyone’s need, just not everyone’s greed.

  32. Jacob McDaniels
    when you c/p from the Big GMO database you should at least change a few words around so it is not so obvious.
    And SHAME on you for once again attempting to conflate hybrid with GMO.
    Most of us do not want to be Guinea pigs – thanks.

  33. Robin, you really need to do just a little research into the food we eat. What do you think came from GOD? Very little, man created almost everything we know of today. Corn, bananas, tomatoes, etc. none of them would be here without man changing them. Seedless watermelons are here thanks to the genes being altered in a lab with the use of chemicals. Not trying to destroy your faith, because God gave us the raw materials and the brains to accomplish it as well.

    And for you Anne, what do you get by spreading these organic propaganda lies? For one, the WHO didn’t classify glyphosate as a known carcinogen, but as a probable one. Sounds scary doesn’t it. Now let’s compare, that is also the same category as working third shift, but people do it everyday for years and years. Let’s also not forget the clarification that the WHO released after the report that stated the general public had zero cause for concern, their rating was directed towards people that handle the raw product such as farm labor. As for the crops killed with glyphosate as a harvest aid? Sure it is possible, but impractical. So why don’t you show us the data on how much is used each year and to what crops to back up your claim.

    For bt? Why don’t you read “Unhealthy Fixation” by William Saletan. It is an informative article that goes into detail about how the organic industry uses a lot more bt than gmos do, advertises that it is so safe you can eat it right after spraying without washing, and how Germany over a ten year period was spraying 100 pounds of bt per acre compared to four with gmos.

  34. I will not buy sugar from sugar beets that were grown from genetically modified seeds. Even if that’s all that’s left to buy, I will simply forego.

    I feel for Idaho farmers. My uncle is one. But I will not lower my health & nutrition standards.

    So many people think genetic modification is progressive science. But — at least to the Christians out there — do you really think humans can outsmart God and his design? Do you seriously think we can improve upon it? If you do, ask yourself why God didn’t design it your way to begin with. Christians, please think hard; think long-term.

  35. Amazes you huh? Well I guess that is why we promote an organic diet, because they also spray glyphosate on 158 non-GMO crops as a pre-harvest treatment. I for one don’t want to eat something that was sprayed with a known carcinogen, but that’s just me.

  36. Exactly Rose. Genetically modified crops create new proteins. And in the case of bt crops, which has the toxin bacillus thuringiensis forced into the cell of every plant? Well they would like to tell you that it doesn’t affect humans because we don’t have the metabolic pathway, the shikimate pathway, so it is safe for humans. Well for every cell in our body we have 10 bacteria, and most of them live in our gut and are responsible for 70-80% of our immune system. We need those friendly bacteria to stay healthy. And Leaky Gut is on the rise, so some of those genetically modified proteins get into our bloodstream and our body doesn’t recognize them so they attack them. Another reason for the massive increase in allergies. Did you know that bt corn is a registered pesticide AND a patented antibiotic? I will only eat organic if at all possible. I talk to my local farmers and find out how they are growing their food, because some of them use organic practices but don’t want to spend the money/time to jump through all the government hoops for the organic seal. I am 59 years old and am never sick. I feel great and I know it is from moving from the SAD diet to a plant-based organic diet. Good luck to you.

  37. It always amazes me to read some of these comments.

    Like Anne’s about no long term studies, there are no long rm studies on ANY food.

    However Zen has to be the best one by thinking that only gmos are sprayed with chemicals. You should really lookup and see what you non gmo sugar cane is sprayed with.

  38. Well, I can only personally speak of how I feel health wise..when I eat gmo products I have stomach problems, low energy, just don’t feel right. Go ahead and laugh, but, just because someone can’t link their cancer and ailments to gmo products doesn’t mean that’s not what is causing it. Gastrointestinal problems are on the rise. When I eat non-gmo products, amazingly, I feel so much better. Healthier. Have more energy. I think gmo products are just a slow kill. It’s a gradual build up of toxic chemicals in our bodies, developing allergies to certain foods because our bodies are trying to tell us something. People just aren’t linking all the toxic foods their eating to their illnesses. Their should be more research going into natural effective ways of farming. Not the other way around. May God bless our farmers.

  39. Wager — please show me ONE, and I mean only ONE long term study showing the safety of Glyphosate, or Roundup. You can’t. And did you know that NO testing was done of the full formulation product of Roundup? Not one. They add many adjuvants to make the product more toxic. As I have said before, I hope they are paying you well to lie to the American people. You must be a card carrying sociopath. There is no other reason for your lunacy. Why don’t you read up on some of the studies on Moms Across America? These are peer reviewed studies showing harm I dare you.

  40. I find it interesting that Amalgamated Sugar is stating one of the problems of going non GMO is expense but they are willing to spend $30 million-a-year media campaign to say GMO’s are great.

  41. Farmers like every other business men can respond to the market or get out.
    It’s more than a little suspicious when known “operatives” like Wager are pushing.
    Simple – purchase sugar that is labeled “from sugar cane” – that is not GMO.

  42. Mr. Wagner, you are trying to confuse the smart consumer by saying there is no danger in GE products and you would be right! BUT we are talking about the TOXIC GMO seeds products you are trying to convert us too! Will not happen because the sneaky Monsanto ways for the last 21 years or more is no longer a secret and more and more people are learning about GMO’s and their toxic poison everyday! We will no longer be fooled by corrupt greedy companies trying to poison us and our children. You should all be ashamed for what you have been doing to us!

  43. The GMO Sugar may not have the GMO proteins in it because it is too highly process or it is “removed” but what about the Roundup/ Glyphosate-based herbicide residues GMO sugar beets are engineered to withstand? Consumers DO NOT WANT TOXINS on our food. There is NOTHING That will convince us to feed out children poison. The EPA’s allowable residues are 25 ppM of glyphosate. It only takes 5.2 ppM to kill a white shrimp in salt water ( glyphosate remains viable in dark salty water for 315 days). What’s in our womb? dark salty water. What is the size of a six-week old fetus? The size of a shrimp. Pregnant mothers love sugar. Farmers and manufacturers must consider the contamination of our pregnant women, the rise in infertility and the studies which prove Roundup has endocrine disrupting chemicals in it. Roundup has been proven to CAUSE liver disease, neurotoxicity and is a probable carcinogen. GMO chemical farming is not worth it. American cannot afford it. We have faith in our farmers that they can farm without toxic chemicals. Thank you farmers. God Bless You.

  44. Just sucks these days for industry as the consumer collective is getting more intelligent and is starting to ask questions about industry processes, uses of toxic herbicides, insecticides, ecological impacts, wildlife impacts, farmer impacts, sterilization of the a productive soil impact, and ultimately the need for gmo products. It was a better day when people were less knowledgeable and industry could produce and pollute without anyone noticing. Idaho’s sugar beet farmers and compact livestock meat industry are too visible for today’s consumers. Consumers notice those ugly polluted stock yards next to the interstate, they notice the algae blooms in the warm Snake River, they notice there is always a smell of manure, fertilizer, insecticides in the air across the Magic and Upper Snake River Valley. Therefore, they wonder what is exactly the product they are getting from the sugar beet industry and whether it is good for them or the environment. Certainly, the loss of quality habitat concerns the consumer as well as they notice places they use to see sage grouse are now sugar beets and livestock. They notice that a good number of trout below American Falls dam have deformities. Instead of going organic and being better stewards of the land, the arguments for using GMO seeds are being shown to be inaccurate over time. Industry wants consumers to have confidence in their products and unfortunately, industry’s greed, arrogance, and vindictive misinformation PR tactics has made their gmo product unattractive. People like Robert Wager has been a long time PR trolling commenter on many many gmo article in the MSM. He is a classic example of the greed, arrogance, and vindictive PR and yes, many mindful consumers are aware of his ilk and their agenda.

  45. I have no idea where the “toxic GE sugar beet” story came from but it is just one more myth. the internet is full of such myths and it makes it hard for the average person to know what to believe. this can help.

    “Not all science created equal: the GE crop story” found on-line. Cheers

  46. Interesting posts from people.

    There has never been a single documented case of harm from consuming food derived from GE crops ever. There are many myths about such events. If you look up the two most recent National Academy of sciences reports, “Impact of GE crops on farm sustainability” and GE Crops: Experience and Prospectives” you can confirm this fact.

    Further there is a great deal of research that clearly demonstrates no nutritional benefit to consuming organic food. the only research that states otherwise is that sponsored by the organic food industry itself.

  47. I’m glad more companies are requesting NON gmo ingredients for their products! Thanks Hershey’s! If the farmers were smart at all they would go non gmo AND organic. Why would they want to sell and feed the people buying their products toxic food? Because it makes them more money? They would rather slowly poison people for their own profit! I dont care about one mans profit, I care about my health. I look for non gmo and organic wherever I can these days. I hope farmers can go back to more natural, healthier foods without all the chemicals, it might actually save them money. They wouldn’t have to buy all the chemicals. Wake up farmers!

  48. Lets not forget the Sugar beet scare of 2011/2012. GMO seed round up ready produced deadly toxins when round up was applied to the beets. You heard it right, deadly! Our darning Monsanto claimed there was not enough non GMO sugar beets in the US and all the seed would have to be imported from Europe but not in time for the season. You can verify with the USDA since they gave permission to continue using the seed but could not apply round up. It is no wonders why no one wants McCreedy’s product. I do not!Costco apparently does not as it was removed from the local shelves. Perhaps it is time Mr. McCreedy you listen to what the consumer wants and not your chemical partner Monsanto. Good luck on that national campaign.

  49. I’m curious as to why products containing sugar from GMO sugar beets need to be labeled while products containing canola oil do not need to be.