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Fear of GMOs hurts US competitiveness, prevents ‘scientifically responsible’ investment

| | June 20, 2014

Socially responsible investing has become pretty popular in recent years as a growing population of investors has decided to take a stand against everything from climate change to labor rights to the tobacco industry. While there’s often overlap between social responsibility and science, that overlap transforms into a giant crevasse when genetically modified organisms are the topic. The loud minority of consumers that demand GMO-labeling laws from politicians and GMO-free lineups from coffee at Starbucks, groceries from Whole Foods Market, laundry detergent infused with renewable algal-oils from Ecover, and burrito wraps from Chipotle Mexican Grill are doing so at the expense of everyone else.

A loud minority of consumers often rank organic production methods ahead of biotech production methods in terms of environmental footprint and nutritional and health benefits. These views directly contradict findings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Stanford University, respectively. In a survey of the nation’s farmers, the USDA found that nearly every major organic crop yield falls “moderately to substantially” below national averages.

The nutritional and health claims don’t hold up, either. Really smart people at Stanford University failed to find evidence suggesting organic foods are more nutritious or healthy than conventional foods. That means Whole Foods Market and Chipotle Mexican Grill are sourcing more expensive ingredients and products that are produced less efficiently than the ingredients and products they’re replacing to provide no additional benefit to their customers. Chipotle Mexican Grill may be able to cash-in on a short-term trend, but it certainly doesn’t seem sustainable in the long-term. How can investors largely turn a blind eye to such an outrageous and short-term business strategy?

When scientific reports and recommendations from our nation’s leading institutions are ignored, it washes out our nation’s global competitive scientific advantage. Many people have adopted socially responsible investing practices or portfolios. Why is it so crazy to suggest we begin investing in a scientifically responsible manner, too?

Read the full, original article: Why You Need to Adopt Scientifically Responsible Investing Practices

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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