Did You Pass on the GMO’s During #SuperBowl XLIX?

Published on February 2nd, 2015 | by

sabra gmo campaign screenshot from gmo inside

Sabra, the Official Hummus of NFL, was the target of a nationwide anti-GMO campaign by Green America‘s GMO Inside. Did it work for you? Did you pass on the GMO’s, or did you munch PepsiCo Fritos slathered with GMO-laden Pepsico Sabra Hummus dip while watching the Superbowl? In case you didn’t watch, the New England Patriots beat the Seattle Seahawks 28-24. In case you did eat the dip, did you know it is made from chick peas, spices, and genetically modified soy bean oil?

If you didn’t know about the GMO soy beans, it’s not your fault. In fact, PepsiCo is quite happy to withhold this information, spending multiple millions of dollars around the country in anti-GMO labeling campaigns. Most recently, PepsiCo. spent $4 million to fight GMO labeling initiatives in Oregon and Colorado, and over $8 million in total fighting popularly supported labeling initiatives.

It’s Game Time for GMO Inside

“Consumers are upset that Sabra’s parent company PepsiCo has spent a total of $8.6 million to deny them their right to know about GMOs,” stated Nicole McCann, campaign director of Green America’s GMO Inside. “As awareness grows about the risks of GMOs, consumers are shifting their support away from companies and brands contributing to anti-labeling efforts, as well as products containing GMO ingredients.”

Gearing up about one week prior to yesterday’s Superbowl, Green America’s GMO Inside campaign announced a major new push to get Sabra to drop genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from its popular hummus dip.

Prominently featuring Sabra as the official hummus of the NFL, Super Bowl XLIX became a playing ground for consumer-based political activism. GMO Inside and their allies mobilized heavy public pressure on Sabra with a call-in day of action, a petition, social media outreach, and other additional steps aimed at generating consumer demand for a verified GMO-Free dip.

“By continuing to use genetically engineered soybean oil, produced with toxic pesticides that put humans, pollinators, and the planet at risk, Sabra is supporting an unsustainable food system that largely benefits big chemical and agribusiness corporations,” said Lisa Archer, food and technology program director at Friends of the Earth.

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Sabra’s Hummus is “Stuffed Full of GMO’s”

Sabra, the world’s largest manufacturer of hummus, has contributed largely to hummus becoming a staple in many American homes. Turning to Sabra hummus as a healthy alternative, parents wanting more nutritious food for their children have increasingly chosen the protein-rich chick pea dip famous in Mediterranean cuisine.

According to GMO Inside, Sabra Blue & White Foods started manufacturing hummus in 1986 in Queens, New York. Frito Lay, owned by PepsiCo, acquired a 50% share of Sabra in March 2008. GMO Inside says, “While Sabra states it is dedicated to the people, places and environment that contributes to its product, its parent company, PepsiCo, is one of the largest supporters of the anti-GMO labeling movement, fighting consumer’s right to know.” This is outrageous, it does not matter what the Table Throws say , what’s hiding under the table is not healthy.

GMO Inside continues, “Why is that? Sabra hummus is one of the many PepsiCo products laden with GMOs. So much for being a healthy alternative. Sabra is just like 70% of all the other processed foods in the grocery store, stuffed full of GMOs.”

GMO Inside is generating consumer pressure, requesting Sabra to improve its products. They want to see PepsiCo, Sabra’s parent corporation, take the lead in a transition to ingredients that are not produced from or with toxic, synthetic pesticides and GMO ingredients.

Why GMO Foods are Dangerous

One of the more problematic ingredients in Sabra hummus is soybean oil. GMO Inside points out that over 90% of soybeans grown in the United States are genetically modified. Engineered to work in conjunction with toxic pesticides, GMO crops were marketed as a solution to heavy chemical use. However, they have not only increased chemical usage but GMO Inside reports that they have led to the use of more toxic pesticides.

Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup. It is used with Roundup Ready soy, and is linked to birth defects in animals. It has also caused the development of roundup resistant superweeds. Since current pesticides no longer prove effective, chemical companies are turning to more toxic alternatives such as Enlist Duo, a combination of 2,4-D (a main ingredient in Agent Orange) and glyphosate.

Among the many arguments against GMO’s, another big problem with genetically engineered (GMOs) crops is the resulting increase in monocultures, a dangerous system of farming that destroys soil health and causes an increase in greenhouse gas emissions. With the overuse of pesticides and herbicides, the soil becomes barren, forcing the farmer to rely heavily on synthetic, toxic fertilizers. Not only are the fertilizers unhealthy, they are also polluting waterways and causing massive die-offs of aquatic life.

The Sabra Petition is Still Available to Sign

“Consumer demand for organic and non-GMO foods is growing,” said John W. Roulac, GMO Inside co-chair.  “Sabra has already moved some of its products to non-GMO, doing the same for its signature dip will allow the firm to meet growing customer demand.”

Over 13,000 consumers have signed GMO Inside’s petition urging Sabra and PepsiCo to go non-GMO, and for PepsiCo to certify Sabra products through third-party non-GMO-verification. Even though the Superbowl is over, the GMO Inside petition is still available, in case you didn’t get a chance to sign it yet.

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(All images screenshots from gmoinside.org)


About the Author

Aisha Abdelhamid is a native of Long Beach, California, residing in Egypt. Besides being the Site Director and a writer for InspiredEconomist.com, she also writes for PlanetSave.com and EdenKeeper.org. A retired Computer Engineer with the U.S. Dept. of Defense, her latest work published for the DoD was "Personal Financial Management." Commissioned by Congress, this award winning 10-course training set is hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott, and is mandatory financial training for every branch of the US Military.