Hershey: From GMO Beets to Cane Sugar

In response to consumer demand backed by the specter of GMO labeling, Hershey has switched from GMO Roundup Ready Sugar Beets to non GMO Pure Cane Sugar. If the package does not say Pure Cane Sugar, it is Pure GMO.

100 percent of market economy Beet Sugar is now GMO. There is no non GMO sugar beet seed available to growers. Perhaps they could order seed from Russia and save seeds?

We are at the cusp of a Accountability revolution in the corporate food industry.

The top states for sugar beet production are Minnesota, Idaho, and North Dakota.  They are angry with consumers.  I guess turnabout is fair play… we consumers are angry with Bill Gates/Monsanto Money/Grocers/agrochem for forcing genetically modified food down our throats and  paying our representatives off to help them lie about it.  They can sell GMO openly or not at all.  Funny how the market economy decides these things.  Big money hates the free market.

I bought heirloom sugar beet seeds this year and will plant a batch and process my own sugar.  It basically turns out that I don’t need the agrochem industry as much as I once thought.  Silly of them to teach people that… at one time I mostly grew beautiful flowers and supported American farmers through the Farmers Market.  Now I grow my own.

Hershey is moving in the right direction, albeit under coercion.  A shame Hershey felt the need to declare war on consumers, they lost an enormous amount of priceless goodwill that was once theirs.

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About rebeccatreeseed

I am a naturalist raised by naturalists. Treeseed is my earned name, while Rebecca is my birth name. I am of Northern European descent, with a quarter Irish.quarter thrown in. I suspect I was a product of northern invaders into Ireland into Ireland. but hard to say since DNA disproved the family story about Apache blood! I have found some odd ancestors to replace them. Last year I bought 5 acres of pinyon-juniper forest on the side of a mountain in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. I am fulfilling a lifetime dream of a cabin in the mountains and a food forest that will feed me and local wildlife. I want to share this new phase of my life with others that might be interested.
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8 Responses to Hershey: From GMO Beets to Cane Sugar

  1. Helen says:

    Hopefully, this is a turning point in favour of consumers.

  2. Helen,
    I hope so. I have noticed a few things in the stores that say Non GMO. Obviously that will get labeled first. Monsanto wants it to be illegal to put non GMO. We have been fighting for years. I hope the farmers switch to non GMO seeds. So many have been sued out of business by Monsanto for trying to avoid GMO seeds.
    My life experience has been the biggest tigers are paper. We’ll see.

  3. I am encouraged by your post: public pressure can move mountains! It is entirely right that labelling should be required to give consumers access to fundamental information about the food they are eating.
    I wonder about cost to consumers: non-GMO foods are usually more expensive. In the past, I could only get imported pure cane sugar in Egypt, at a very high price. Now I can get locally produced supplies but still at a higher price than the refined white stuff, and poorer people here cannot possibly afford to buy it. Curious, this, as the country produces masses of cane sugar: it is commonly consumed in the form of raw chunks, or tall glasses of foaming juice.
    I think your further solution is very wise: we can do a lot to feed ourselves and to bypass the agrochemical industry. Looking forward to reading more about how to do this, on your blog.

  4. Hi Sylvia
    I am curious about the “cheapness” of over processed food. Here in the US we get scandals of processed food having bizarre fillers like sand and wood cellulose. I lived in Mexico and people also ate sugar canes and unrefined cane sugar. It was cheaper than white sugar. It also tasted better… maybe not for an angel food cake… but yummy. I used to go back into Mexico to buy that sugar. It is available here now but it is very expensive. Sugar beets don’t have that intermediate stage, straight to pure white sugar. And it will grow here.
    I worry about the poorest people. When I had a half acre I fed a fair number of poor people with children, but I am just getting started here. I planted fruit trees the first year! I now expect asparagus planted the second year… and so on. I have taken the long view.
    Last year I had a good showing of food and this year will be better.

  5. As I recall from history studies, legislation governing adulteration of food came into effect in Britain in the late C19, just as the industrialisation of food production took off, with unprecedented populations of urban poor to feed. For a while this seemed to work, but have we now come full circle? It may be correct to blame big agriculture and government, but many of us have an interest in the industry (if we did but know it) via our pension funds. Seems to me we’ve woven a complex web and trapped ourselves.
    Is cane sugar nutritionally way more beneficial than the beet variety – rather like wholewheat flour etc? I think the word “refined” was a deliberate ploy to persuade the aspiring middle classes to buy processed foods in the mistaken belief that they were superior. Enter the marketing men, further villains of the piece.

    • Sylvia,
      Monsanto says beet sugar is chemically the same as refined sugar. Per bakers, it bakes differently. I did my own comparison, and beet sugar worked differently. The difference must be in what else is in it. I have seen information on stomach problems in livestock that eat the greens and residue from beet sugar. Sugar beets for livestock was in use long before GMO. For me, as a biology major, I know they cannot know the long term effects of eating GMO organisms. We developed alongside our food.
      Huge numbers of people make a livin c at some point in the chain of corporate food production. If you look at that logically, it is not possible that corporate chain is cheap than a local farmer… yet it is so. Adulterants must have something to do with that. Tax subsidies. No laws were necessary until people were so far from their food supply that they had trouble making choices. I am no longer sure that humanity came out better with the shift away from agrarian. Not everyday people. I don’t know about other countries, but here folks who dream of going back to the land want it to look a lot like suburbia with its 1800 sf houses and all the modcons. Generally doesn’t support that. Then oldsters like me who go relatively self-sufficient after retirement. I do not have a pension yet… and my retirement account is self directed… no food abuses in there. But you are right, most people are a part of the web.
      Hard to be poor, they get abused from all directions.

  6. Sylvia
    Huge numbers of people make a livin c at some point in the chain of corporate food production. If you look at that logically, it is not possible that corporate chain is cheap than a local farmer… yet it is so. Adulterants must have something to do with that. Tax subsidies. No laws were necessary until people were so far from their food supply that they had trouble making choices. I am no longer sure that humanity came out better with the shift away from agrarian. Not everyday people. I don’t know about other countries, but here folks who dream of going back to the land want it to look a lot like suburbia with its 1800 sf houses and all the modcons. Generally doesn’t support that. Then oldsters like me who go relatively self-sufficient after retirement. I do not have a pension yet… and my retirement account is self directed… no food abuses in there. But you are right, most people are a part of the web.
    Hard to be poor, they get abused from all directions.

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