Members of USFRA Challenge Dannon

Kelly Marshallbiotechnology, sustainability, USFRA

USFRAMember organizations of the U.S. Farmers and Rancher Alliance (USFRA) sent a letter to Dannon in response to their recent pledge to eliminate biotechnology in feed for dairy cows that supply milk for their yogurt.

Members of the USFRA urged Dannon and other food companies to review their goals for sustainability and understand those goals cannot be achieved without the use of safe and proven biotechnology.  Dannon is one of many food manufactures and retailers to eliminate GMOs from their supply chain, with claims that it will improve the sustainability of their products.

The letter explains how Dannon’s actions are  “the exact opposite of the sustainable agriculture that [Dannon] claim[s] to be seeking. [Dannon’s] pledge would force farmers to abandon safe, sustainable farming practices that have enhanced farm productivity over the last 20 years while greatly reducing the carbon footprint of American agriculture.”

“Just as every one of our farmers believes strongly in sustainable biotechnology, we also believe in the competition of a free market,” said American Soybean Association President Richard Wilkins. “But Dannon isn’t competing in good faith; Dannon is making false marketing claims to boost the sale of its products. We can’t afford to stand by and allow this technology to be further denigrated by untruthful claims like Dannon’s.”

Taking away a farmer’s ability to use less pesticides, herbicides, fossils fuels and water and prevent soil erosion turns back the clock on agriculture.  Numerous studies over a period of more than 20 years have proven the safety of GMOs and the benefits to the environment and 109 Nobel laureates recently added their support to the technology.