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GMOs have won over many critics in food industry, but consumers cautious

| | November 5, 2015

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Who’s worried about GMOs?

Just one hand went up when Fortune senior writer Beth Kowitt asked the audience this question during a session called “Big Food, Big Changes” at the Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco on November 3rd.

It was a surprise that only one person admitted health concerns about GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, which farmers and food producers use to improve their production. Even more surprising, the man who raised his hand was Anthony Zolezzi, an entrepreneur in the organic food industry who spent years fervently opposing the use of GMOs—and has now changed his allegiance.

“We need GMOs for the next 3 billion people,” Zolezzi told the Fortune audience. “No doubt about it.”

Another CEO on the stage is riding a resistance to GMOs that is still on the upswing. Ilene Gordon, who heads ingredient giant Ingredion, told the Fortune audience that demand for non-GMO products remains “really high.” In fact, Ingredion has a factory in Indianapolis that produces nothing but non-GMO ingredients. That plant used to serve Europe; now the plant ships most of its products to North American customers.

Personally, Gordon has no problem with GMOs—”there’s no science” to validate the worries that GMOs are harmful to people’s health, she says. But she says she’s “not to judge” what consumers want. “I think we’re going to see ‘non-GMO’ grow these next couple of years, then plateau as ‘gluten-free’ has,” Gordon says, noting, “We have to be careful not to make capital investments based on fads.”

Read full, original post: GMOs Win Over Old Critics. But is that enough?

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