July 23, 2014. Columbus, OH. (ONN) There’s no denying it - we’re winning the war against GMO foods. Just like America’s historic 11-year war for independence, we’ve lost nearly every individual battle. But according to the GMO corporations themselves, anti-GMO shoppers are winning the overall war. That’s why top manufacturers and retailers are rushing to the front of the anti-GMO fight, dumping GMO ingredients, and biggest of all - Monsanto announced it will all but abandon its notorious and toxic Roundup pesticide.
Watch for labels like this appearing more and more on your grocery store shelves. Image courtesy of NonGMOProject.org.
Americans are speaking with their pocketbooks and they’re speaking loud and clear. They want Genetically Modified Organisms off their grocery store shelves and out of their fast foods. And nothing proves that more than the GMO companies’ own profit warnings, investor announcements and future goals. Another indication is that at the latest trade shows for food producers, retailers and consumer packaged goods companies, the trend across the board is to dump GMO products and replace them with organic and natural foods and ingredients. They’ve seen the trend among consumers, they’ve admitted defeat, and they’re planning for a GMO-free future.
The results of an annual survey of American consumers released earlier this year painted a devastating picture for the world’s GMO producers. As reported by FoodManufacturing.com, the study showed that ‘non-GMO’ was the number one prevailing criteria for US shoppers now. It isn’t alone either. Consumers are demanding gluten-free, antibiotic-free and organic products as well. And that’s pushing the industry to rapidly dump GMO and unhealthy foods for organic and non-GMO.
According to the survey, 80% of American shoppers seek out non-GMO products. That’s equal to the percentage that also try to buy antibiotic-free meats, like chicken, beef and pork. 70% of shoppers say they look for gluten-free products.
Even the Sweets and Snacks Expo is announcing the new trend against GMO products. A report last month from CandyIndustry.com reports similar anti-GMO consumer trends. Their survey shows one-third of US consumers consider ‘non-GMO’ to be ‘extremely important’. They point out that’s up from just 18% ten years ago. Meeting the anti-GMO craze, food manufacturers have reportedly introduced 42% more new GMO-free food products into the market in 2013 than they did in 2012.
DuPont takes a hit
When GMO company DuPont released its quarterly corporate earnings report yesterday, the corporation confirmed it saw its GMO-related profits fall once again. The world’s second largest seed producer blamed American farmers dumping their GMO corn for other agricultural products, many non-GMO to meet the growing demand from US consumers. Reuters reported yesterday that the company’s agriculture and GMO unit reported an 11% drop in earnings in the 2nd Quarter, and expected to take a $62 million loss in this third quarter.
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The article quotes UBS analyst John Roberts shrugging off DuPont’s promise that the 4th Quarter would be better. “The strength in the fourth quarter may be earlier seed sales that might have otherwise occurred in early 2015,” he criticized, “So I would say this is relatively disappointing.” In a desperate attempt to please shareholders and drive up the corporation’s stock price, DuPont, a company founded in 1802 to make gunpowder, also announced yesterday that it was raising its dividend to shareholders by 2 cents per share. To offset the lack of demand for its GMO corn products, the corporation announced it will be laying off between 1 and 9 percent of its workforce.
Syngenta sees profits drop
Syngenta, the world’s largest seller of agriculture chemicals and a top producer of GMO seeds, announced today that its profits over the first half of 2014 had dropped 1%. The company blamed North America, its largest buyer of GMO seeds and products. While the corporation’s global sales grew 4% outside North America, here their sales fell 7%. The company also confirmed that its more telling EBITA (Earnings Before Interest Taxes and Appreciation) had fallen overall by 3% over last year.
A report from Reuters today also detailed how the Swiss company Syngenta was quietly moving to purchase its American rival Monsanto. Neither corporation would comment on the rumor. But stock market analysts have suggested it’s anticipated as the steady stream of US corporations continue to merge with European competitors for the sole reason of moving out of America and cutting their tax rate. The US has the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.
Monsanto admits defeat
Possibly the biggest, and least-reported news, is that Monsanto just announced that it would stop investing time and money in its notorious and deadly Roundup pesticide. A report from the Wall Street Journal explained, ‘Roundup in the future will play a supporting role next to Monsanto's seed business and the company doesn't plan to invest much in further developing the pesticide, Monsanto President Brett Begemann said on Wednesday's conference call.’
Just like its top competitor DuPont, Monsanto - the world’s largest seed producer - reported that its 3rd Quarter earnings fell 6%. That’s on top of a 45% drop in profits from 2009-2010. For the just-reported quarter, Monsanto also reported a drop in profits by $51 million from the year ago quarter. Specifically, and most telling, sales of Monsanto’s GMO seeds dropped by $14 million from the same quarter a year ago.
Also like DuPont, Monsanto’s executives are desperately trying to prop up their stock price. While DuPont accomplished it by raising its dividend payment to investors, Monsanto announced it is borrowing money to fund its proposed $10 billion stock buy-back plan. That announcement pushed the corporation’s stock 5% higher in one day. But more ominously, the move earned Monsanto’s credit rating a one-day triple-downgrade from S&P and a double-downgrade from Fitch.
Seemingly admitting defeat on the GMO seed front, Monsanto executives announced they were moving forward with a major shift in the company’s products and services. The company who first brought the world the WMD Agent Orange describes tomorrow’s Monsanto. “We're unlocking the next evolution in our strategy," Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant said on the company’s earnings call, "We're not simply a seed company.” The corporation will instead put its energy toward developing its successful weather-prediction software and services for farmers, as well as matching seeds for each farmer’s specific dirt and weather conditions.
While profits and sales of GMO products are dropping sharply, especially in the United States, GMO producing corporations have seen their stock prices continue to climb right along with the overall markets. But it’s not because genetically engineered products are growing. It’s because the demand for GMO foods is dropping so fast, the world’s GMO corporations are only weeks or months away from cannibalizing each other with mergers and acquisitions just to stay competitive. And the thought of Monsanto dumping Roundup and GMO seeds in lieu of developing computer software that can predict the specific weather for each individual farmer in the world is music to the ears of all the anti-GMO fighters around the world.