Consumers Ask Mars to Remove GMOs from Candies and Pet Foods; Green America Provides Consumers with a Chocolate Scorecard Grading Companies' Social and Environmental Impacts
Green America's GMO Inside Campaign is mobilizing its over 250,000 supporters to encourage Mars, Incorporated to remove genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from its human and pet foods as a Valentine's Day gift to the world. Consumers can send Mars an email asking the company to remove all GMOs here: http://action.greenamerica.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=9525. For consumers looking to purchase chocolates that are organic or free of GMOs, and for those seeking the highest labor standards, Green America provides a Chocolate Scorecard on its website: http://www.greenamerica.org/programs/fairtrade/whatyoucando/images/Chocolate-Scorecard-17.pdf
Last year, Mars agreed to remove artificial colors and began labeling GMOs on the packaging of the company's human foods. GMO Inside congratulated Mars on these important steps forward in protecting human health and is now asking the company to remove all GMOs from its products. In 2015, consumers led by GMO Inside were successful in getting competitor Hershey's to end its sourcing of genetically engineered (GE) sugars for two of its best-selling lines of chocolate.
"Valentine's Day is the perfect time for Mars to break up with GMOs and show some love for the world," said Green America's food campaign manager, Anna Meyer. "Consumers increasingly understand that GMOs are a failed experiment that increase the use of toxic herbicides while potentially damaging human and pet health. Mars should build on its forward-looking decision to label GMOs on the packaging of its human foods by removing all GMOs from human and pet foods it produces."
"Mars has been a leader in removing artificial colors from its candies and adopting labor certifications for the cocoa in its chocolates," said Green America Executive Co-Director Todd Larsen. "Now, Mars can further its leadership by going non-GMO."
GE ingredients have never been proven safe for human consumption. A recent peer-reviewed study published in Scientific Reports found that non-GMO and a GE corn variety were not substantially equivalent, and that the GE corn may pose allergy and cancer risks to consumers.
In addition, many GE crops are often engineered to be glyphosate resistant, and the resulting rapid increase in the use of glyphosate is coming under scrutiny in light of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) 2015 findings that glyphosate is "probably carcinogenic to humans". Recently, California's Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) issued plans to list glyphosate as a possible cancer threat under the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (Proposition 65).
There is also growing evidence that weeds are increasingly resistant to glyphosate, and these superweeds can only be eradicated through the use of additional herbicides with greater toxicity. The most recent herbicide resistance report from the University of Illinois Plant Clinic demonstrates that over 75 percent of sampled farms in 10 Midwestern states were infected with glyphosate-resistant weeds.