A group of farm organizations has sent a letter to officials at Dannon questioning the company’s pledge to be more sustainable. In April, Dannon announced a pledge to use fewer genetically modified ingredients, a goal that includes the feed given to milk producing cows. The pledge also vowed to label GMOs in its products by December 2017 and the ambition to offer products coming from a more sustainable agriculture.
But six groups representing ag producers don’t see this as a sustainable goal at all. In the letter to Dannon President and CEO Mariano Lozano, the groups say this pledge would force farmers to abandon safe and scientifically backed farming practices. Chris Galen with the National Milk Producers Federation says concerns about the impacts of GMO feed in the dairy supply are unfounded.
“There’s no such thing as genetically modified milk just because a cow may consume corn or soybeans,” he said. “That actually has been very clear in the science, and the recent legislation signed into law by the President clarifies you don’t have biotech milk just because you have GMO grains that go into the cattle.”
“So it’s time that those of us in agriculture who believe in sustainability, who believe in using natural resources, call out those companies that are trying to convince consumers and really deceive consumers into believing that you can eliminate GMO’s and produce a more sustainable food product.”
In addition to the Milk Producers, the American Farm Bureau Federation, American Soybean Association, American Sugarbeet Growers Association, National Corn Growers Association and U.S. Farmers and Ranchers alliance also signed the letter.
“We’re concerned about this because Dannon is a dairy company, but soybeans, sugar, corn as well as Farm Bureau and the USFRA are all partnering on this because we think that this is bigger than just one dairy company. You’re going to see more companies wrap themselves around this non-GMO sustainability mantle if we don’t do some things to set the record straight and really challenge the marketing claims.”
In addition to the letter to Dannon, Galen says the groups are looking at ways to fact check other sustainability claims made by food companies.
Collectively, the six organizations represent hundreds of thousands of farmers and food producers across the U.S.
Source: NAFB News