Hey, Food Companies: Try Treating Women Like Adults

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Every relevant scientific body in the world has stated that crops derived from genetically engineered seeds are safe to consume and pose no greater environmental threat than any other type of crop.

However, the Sellers of Organic Stuff have spent tons of money to convince us otherwise and that they, the Sellers of Organic Stuff, are here to rescue us from the big, mean food companies by demanding mandatory labels for GMOs. Last week, they finally got their labels. Congratulations, Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill – you’re a law.

But wait…the Sellers of Organic Stuff are still unhappy. They didn’t mean just any old mandatory GMO label; they wanted a skull with bloody corn sticking out of its earhole. Or a butterfly in a noose. Maybe a tiny, baby bee corpse. At least we know what they’re really about now - the GMO label was supposed to look like a warning label, not a right-to-know label. Got it.

Some of us are so dumb. We thought the labeling argument was over but we may have wasted our champagne. One of the leading Sellers of Organic Stuff, Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Organic Yogurt (owned by Big Evil Yogurt Multinational Corporation, Dannon), has come out and said:

“…we’ve left the legislative period of this battle after seven years and moved into the regulatory and marketplace phase of it, which was where it was always headed anyway.”

In other words, it’s time to fight over what the stupid label looks like in court. Lawyer up, folks!

And as Little Lord Stonyfield says, it’s a now a marketplace fight so food companies may have some choices to make about the labels and how to market their products with genetically engineered ingredients. Suggestion to food companies: You don’t need to run out and dump GMOs. You need to treat consumers, especially mothers, like adults.

We’re not stupid. A lot of us are willing to learn but please don’t use those simpering, sexist, scaredy-mom stereotypes where we’re depicted as spoiled brats who cower in fear of our children and think the world is out to get our little Pookie Bears. Whatever you do, avoid the skin-crawling “Save the Dumb Moms from GMOs” marketing strategy that The Dannon Company is using to sell their sugar-saturated yogurt. Because here is the way Dannon evidently sees women:

Gary the Yogurt Guy: Women are too stupid to understand genetic engineering.

Steve the Yogurt Guy: So true. Women are also ungrateful and neurotic, especially American mothers.

Gary the Yogurt Guy: Yes. American mothers are very stupid and neurotic. They are even scared of their own children.

Steve the Yogurt Guy: Since American mothers are even scared of their own children, let’s tell them that GMOs are gross and we are here to rescue them from the big, scary things they are too stupid to understand.

Gary the Yogurt Guy: Excellent idea. That is much easier than telling women why GMOs exist.

Steve the Yogurt Guy: We will be heroes to all ungrateful, neurotic American mothers.

Gary the Yogurt Guy: It is fun to rescue stupid mothers.

Think I’m exaggerating? Go watch the latest video in Dannon’s new anti-GMO marketing campaign. A woman is standing in her giant white kitchen (where even the clutter is beautiful), wearing perfect lipstick and a $200 shirt, whining about how life doesn’t always give us choices. [Hang on a sec while we cry for her lack of choices.] Then, she says that what goes into her body and her child’s body should be a choice (duh) and makes a grossed-out face about “this GMO thing.”amy

Anyway, as the unruly kid in the video is dumping juice on the floor and sticking blueberries up his nose, the woman thanks Dannon for rescuing her and giving her a choice because that’s “kinda her thing.” Oh my god, NO. That is not how women act. Maybe that’s how the Dannon guys see their wives (are there any women working at Dannon?) but strong, competent women don’t view themselves as victims who need to be rescued by the big, brave yogurt men.

Most women aren’t ingrates who take their healthy children and fully-stocked kitchens for granted. And they absolutely don’t want to take away food choices from other mothers around the world – which is really the long game for the anti-GMO movement.

Genetic engineering seems confusing, scary, and unnecessary to people who have never had it explained to them and the Sellers of Organic Stuff, along with anti-GMO bandwagoners like Dannon, know it. They are building their businesses around exploiting the confusion and fear, especially when it comes to mothers and our natural anxiety about the health of our children. Perhaps other food companies will try a different strategy as they enter the next phase of the labeling fight.

Here’s an idea: Instead of assuming that consumers (and mothers) are ungrateful and neurotic, try appealing to our intelligence. We’re not stupid and we certainly don’t need to be rescued.

Amy Porterfield Levy is an Atlantic Beach, FL based writer best known for satirical rants on The Huffington Post and fake news stories on The Science Post.