Navigating the Grocery Store Aisle

Not all GMOs are produced by corporations; some are produced by universities to solve nutritional or environmental problems. For example, papayas in Hawaii were almost totally wiped out by the ringspot virus until researchers at the University of Hawaii created a GMO version that allows them to be grown. Universities and governments also collaborated to create golden rice, a GMO product (not approved in the United States) that adds extra vitamin A to help with eyesight and health issues in Africa. GMO salmon was produced because salmon is endangered. Since 1992, the number of wild salmon has been below the natural replacement level. GMO salmon is farmed and not released in the wild. The farmed salmon is sold to consumers, decreasing market demand on wild salmon.

Bt-crops — Bt is an organic pesticide — are an example of a GMO. The GMO version (Bt-crops) allows fewer synthetic pesticides and reduces the carcinogen level in Bt-corn. Bt crops are often associated with corn and soybean production. Beginning January 1, 2022, all products made with GMO ingredients must state that they are bioengineered, the term used by the USDA to identify GMO products (USDA AMS, 2020). Still, the label can be something as simple as a phone number or a QR code. If no genetic difference can be found, the rule further specifies that highly refined ingredients, such as oil and corn syrup, do not need to be labeled. Meat and milk from animals fed GMO feed do not need to be labeled.

In addition, not all food has DNA. Foods without DNA include salt, sugar, and highly refined oils like corn syrup. Therefore, all salt and sugar are inherently non-GMO and none of them needs to be labeled non-GMO (Knutson, 2018). Companies started applying the non-GMO label on these products to match consumer demands (Charles, 2016). Companies like Hershey are willing to pay 10 to 15 percent more for sugar cane versus GMO sugar beets to address consumer concerns (Charles, 2016). Farmers that raise GMO sugar beets stress that it is a better crop for their workers and the environment because it uses fewer pesticides, however they will grow products that food companies will purchase (Charles, 2016).

Part 3: Research & Marketing Planning


Before we created a food label game that would appeal to our audience, we needed to understand that audience and how they process and use information.


Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker