Chipotle's GMO-Free Stance and Dark Portrayal of Modern Farming Draws Ire of Farmers, Mainstream Media



The announcement by U.S. restaurant chain Chipotle that it has eliminated all GMOs from its menu (with some exceptions, of course) is drawing major criticism from not only the agriculture and science communities, but the mainstream media.

A Chipotle ad celebrating the restaurant chain's "non-GMO" menu.
A Chipotle ad celebrating the restaurant chain’s “non-GMO” menu.

The Washington Post, Bloomberg and TIME were among the outlets that published articles last week denouncing the GMO-free claim. Bloomberg’s health editors noted Chipotle “has done nothing for the public good, and has only capitulated to anti-GMO fervor,” while the Washington Post’s editorial board declared “the anti-GMO lobby has scared people, and burritos can be sold by pandering to these fears.” (Find a list of similar pieces here.)

Related: 5 reasons why Chipotle’s latest PR effort has failed

In the interview below, Ryan Goodman, a rancher from Montana who has written extensively about Chipotle on and had conversations with Chipotle marketing people in New York and Denver, joins RealAg’s Shaun Haney to discuss the GMO-free announcement and the “Food with Integrity” campaign.

“Their whole theme has been pitting good versus bad. Modern, conventional agriculture production is bad compared to where we came from,” explains Goodman. “The way they’ve approached that through their ads and campaigns has been by attacking modern farmers and ranchers and attacking our modern food system, and using a lot of fear in that.”

Check out their conversation for more on “Food with Integrity,” what integrity means in food production and whether the pendulum is starting to swing back toward reality in the world of food trends:


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