There's a lot of money to be made in kowtowing to the latest dietary fads and unsubstantiated health scares. As a result, organic products -- which are sold to people based on the myths that they are safer, healthier, and tastier than conventional products -- are now a nearly $50-billion-industry in the U.S.
Other companies have noticed and jumped aboard the bandwagon. If there is money to be made, they are eager to throw science under the bus in order to prey on a scientifically illiterate populace. The proliferation of ridiculous labels -- from "non-GMO" salt to "gluten-free" water -- serves as a case-in-point. They believe the average person is ignorant enough to fall for that sort of nonsense... and they're right.
Consider Panera Bread, a company that shamelessly launched a full-frontal assault on chemistry. Last year, they ran an ad bragging that their food didn't contain scary sounding chemicals, taking a page straight out of the Food Babe's playbook. Then, they boasted that their food didn't contain artificial preservatives, apparently unaware that food waste -- something that preservatives help prevent -- is a gigantic problem that needs to be solved*.
Or consider all the money that can be made by accusing and suing food companies over perfectly safe products. An entire industry has been built around California's Proposition 65, a gold mine for unethical activists and lawyers. The latest travesty forces manufacturers to place cancer warning labels on coffee.
Given the thoroughly unscientific and litigious milieu in which we live, companies find themselves scrambling to appease the uneducated Twitter mob and apologizing for being in business. That's why it's such a breath of fresh air when a company stands up to the hysteria.
Betty Crocker: Pro-GMO and Proud of It
In response to a critic who was unhappy that one of its labels said, "partially produced with genetic engineering," Betty Crocker responded:
Fantastic response! A full-throated endorsement of biotechnology is a beautiful thing.
May Betty Crocker live long and prosper. And may companies like Panera Bread learn that honesty is a far better marketing strategy than deceitful fearmongering.
*Note: As it so happens, karma struck. Panera had to issue a recall over possible Listeria contamination.