(NaturalNews) Agri-giant Cargill is responding to market pressure and will be introducing a soybean oil made from identity-preserved (IdP), conventionally bred soybeans (these are non-GMO) for customers who are considering shopping for products with a "non-GMO" sticker on their label.
"Despite the many merits of biotechnology, consumer interest in food and beverage products made from non-GM ingredients is growing, creating opportunities and challenges for food manufacturers and food service operators," said Ethan Theis, food ingredients commercial manager at Cargill, in a company press release.
For now, supplies of Cargill's new oil are limited; one food maker has already purchased a large amount of the available supply. But Theis says that producing IdP soybean oil from non-GMO soybeans is an intricate process; it requires procurement of a dedicated supply of non-GMO soybeans as well as the development of processes aimed at avoiding co-mingling with bioengineered crops during harvesting, transportation, storage, handling, processing and then refining into products.
Good news for consumers because it means they are winning the battle
"Developing industrial scale IdP products is difficult but something Cargill is well-suited for because of our knowledge of consumer trends, formulation experience, supply-chain management expertise, manufacturing infrastructure and strong relationships with farmers," Theis said.
The company release said that Cargill has a large amount of global experience in assisting food makers' source non-GMO crops and ingredients made from those crops.
"The combination of Cargill's portfolio of non-GM sweeteners, starches, texturizers, oils, cocoa and chocolate, fibers, and stabilizer systems, coupled with R&D and global supply chain capabilities, allows Cargill to help customers manage both the product development and supply chain challenges associated with reformulating to non-GMO," said the release.
But does mean that Cargill is going all non-GMO? Hardly, writes Heather Callaghan at Activist Post:
Okay, Cargill is riding the PR fence. They escaped the PR scandal of "pink slime" because their process for treating the meat filler includes citric acid instead of ammonium hydroxide gas. Citric acid sounds lovely like lemonade, but is actually made from the fermentation of crude sugars from corn - most of which is genetically modified. The hydrolyzed proteins create the release of free glutamic acid (like MSG), triggering allergies in people who can't handle MSG. So again, let's not forget that they fully support genetic modification in agriculture.
What's to hide?
She also warns that Americans who prefer non-GMO foods (and that number is growing -- more on that in a moment) should not get their food fryers ready for the new oil just yet, owing to Cargill's warning that procuring a sizable supply of non-GMO soybean seeds takes time, suppliers and a logistics chain which company execs pledge they are building. We'll see. But in any event, Callaghan notes that Western soy production, even non-GMO crops, has a dark side, "especially with its negative reproductive health effects and the proliferation of soy allergies in the U.S."
Nevertheless, Cargill's admission that consumer pressure led to the company's development of its new oil is notable in that it is a triumph of the will of the people: "It means that despite the corporate lauding of genetic modification, they can only to [sic] continue to push it as far as it is profitable - and palatable. Rising consumer awareness and demand is finally starting to tip the massive tower in its own direction."
True story; reports over the past few months have touted the rise of organic and non-GMO purchases by more and more American food shoppers, even though such foods cost more. Vermont and states like it that are passing or pursuing GMO labeling laws have gone a long way towards raising awareness, and by its stubborn resistance, the industry has left itself liable, with more Americans now asking what it is they have to hide.