The way corporations speak about GMOs in their subtle manner is how they plan to attack now. Justin King, chief executive officer of UK grocer J Sainsbury Plc, says that ‘most people aren’t against GMO,’ but that they just need to be convinced genetically modified and transgenic crops are good for them.
In a recent interview, King said that GMO crops have been focused on the producer instead of the consumer, which is a mistake. Translation: we got to the farmers and now they need to get to us, so we have to win over the grocery store customer now. In King’s estimation:
“It has never been the case that the UK population is against GM. There is a significant minority that are vocally and vehemently against it but the vast majority of the UK population would put themselves in the ‘don’t know, would like to know the facts and could be persuaded’ box.”
He also named the blight resistant potato that was recently introduced by British scientists when addressing attendees at the National Farmers’ Union annual conference.
“If you look at the debate in the last week or two about potatoes, that is a producer argument not a customer argument. The industry needs to focus on where the customer benefit is in any change,” he said.
It’s true that the majority either don’t know about GMOs or don’t care, but is King ignorant of the millions of UK protestors who don’t want GMO – corn, soy, sugar beets, salmon, OR potatoes in their food supply? This is true despite Britain’s farm minister Owen Paterson being one of the most vehement supporters of GMO crops, calling earlier this year for the approval process to be accelerated. It isn’t as if consumers are just waking up to this blasphemy either. Over a decade ago, protestors tore up fields in the UK, rejecting Monsanto’s genetically modified crops, calling them Frankenfoods.
At that time, more than 600 public meetings were held in the UK to discuss the travails of GMO crops, and those numbers have only grown since. This ‘significant minority’ that is against GMO, according to King, is steadily transforming. There are hordes of people who don’t want biotech meddling with their food.