Since Chipotle vowed to eliminate genetically modified foods from their restaurant, there’s been a pretty big division between opinions (at least within the social media accounts I follow). There are a lot of people who feel that we don’t yet have enough research to say that GMOs are safe for human consumption over the long term. I do think it’s true that more research into health effects of GMOs is warranted. I do think there are likely some ethical issues with GMO “patents” and use, as well as concern over heavy pesticide use. However, there currently does not seem to be adequate research to indicate the GMOs are unsafe for human consumption, and I don’t think it’s practical for many (or even most) people to follow a GMO-free diet.
Those people holding the opposite opinion of the anti-GMO crew seem to be the #stand4science crew, the same kind of group that strongly supports vaccinations and speaks out against health-related woo (forgive me if I’m painting with a broad brush!). I typically tend to fall more in line with this camp on many issues, including being non-opposed to GMOs in the food supply. Recently, I’ve seen some pretty passionate tweets and posts from #stand4science proponents who plan to boycott Chipotle due to their GMO reduction plan. I understand the concern that labeling foods as non-GMO can be seen as “fear-mongering.”
That said, my opinions and feelings about food are different than others’, and I can respect that. If consumers demand to know whether their food contains GMO ingredients, or choose to avoid GMOs for any reason, I think that is their right. I am not going to blast somebody’s food choices or beliefs just because they don’t align with mine. I’m also not going to quit patronizing a fast-casual business that carries food options that DO align with my food choices, and offer some pretty darn healthy options. It’s a similar philosophy that I use in practice when someone has certain food beliefs that I may or may not agree with – I discuss relevant research and present the best information I have available and then leave it up to the individual to make the food decisions that are right for him or her.
Chipotle is a business, and they are striving to meet consumer demands. As for me, I continue to appreciate that they carry more ethically-sourced meats and plenty of vegetarian options, GMO or not.