The latest GMO consumer food product to receive FDA approval for production is a Del-Monte pink pineapple. The pineapple has been genetically altered by diminishing the degree to which the fruit turns yellow, thereby preserving more sweetness, something that consumers will no doubt appreciate. But will they buy the pink pineapple? Del-Monte apparently thinks so. So what does that mean for broader acceptance of GMO crops?
Time will tell. The pineapple joins a short list of other so-called real foods that have been approved for genetic modification including apples, potatoes, and salmon. Notably, the GMO traits in these items deliver a direct consumer benefit (if one likes sweeter pineapples and non-browning apples, for example) as opposed to farm-level benefits only.
Many in the industry have postulated that providing consumer benefits is the key. But what is the consumer benefit to your corn traits? Perhaps it is the environmental side of things that consumers will bite off on (see what I did there?). We know that using GMOs adds to our sustainability, but how are we talking about that?
Sustainability efforts are becoming increasingly important to consumers and retailers and others in the food processing chain. Like it or not, it’s probably here to stay. Do you know how your farm would be rated? Check out Field to Market if you haven’t already to learn more. You may also like to spend some time reading about the Soil Health Partnership.