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GMO tomato blunder by Hunts

A new marketing campaign by tomato processor Hunt’s is drawing backlash from some in the ag community.

In its ads, Hunt’s boasts that it does not use genetically modified tomatoes in its products.  While that’s true, it’s also because, currently, there are no GMO tomatoes being produced commercially.

Michigan-based farmer advocate and attorney Amanda Zaluckyj took Hunt’s to task in her blog, The Farmer’s Daughter USA.  Zaluckyj tells Brownfield that “anti-GMO” messages like Hunt’s fuel consumer misunderstanding about the technology.  “There are no GMO tomatoes.  I felt that it was really disingenuous for them to tell people that they were selling non-GMO tomatoes because, well duh, obviously everybody is.”

She says Hunt’s marketing ploy is unethical.  “Presumably you’re going to be charging a little more for that non-GMO product and there’s not even a comparable GMO product that people could buy.”

After thousands of negative comments on the ad, Hunts posted, “While it’s true that all tomatoes are non-GMO, there are tomato products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.” The company says they’ve recently updated many of their tomato products to meet Non-GMO Project Verification standards.

Zaluckyj says if consumers have questions about the technology used in food production there are plenty of farmers like herself online discussing their farming practices and answering concerns.

AUDIO: Interview with Amanda Zaluckyj

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