Chocolate line created to promote GMO farming

A coalition of 1,600 US farmers called A Fresh Look has launched a new line of ‘pro-GMO’ chocolate bars to inform the public about the positives of genetically modified crops.

“Ethos Chocolate aims to share the ‘sweet’ truth about GMO farming,” said Rebecca Larson, a lead scientist for A Fresh Look.

“Globally, people consume more than 3M tonnes of cocoa beans a year but few of us realise that we could be among the last generations to even know what chocolate tastes like,” according to the website of A Fresh Look.

In a press release on 5 February, A Fresh Look said the cacoa tree was threatened by the impact of climate change, including lack of water, warmer temperatures and pests, and was on track to go extinct by 2050.

Each Ethos Chocolate bar was symbolic of a GMO crop story, demonstrating how the technology had played a role in solving a real-world food challenge. It describes the bars as:

· “The Optimist – Genetic engineering is being explored to protect cacao trees like the ones in the Dominican Republic that make the Ethos bars.

· The Survivor – GMOs saved the entire papaya industry in Hawaii after it was decimated by papaya ring spot virus.

· The Hero – GMO researchers are working to help Florida orange trees fight the citrus greening disease which threatens the entire citrus crop.

· The Trendsetter – GMO farming paved the way for non-browning apples that stay fresh longer to help cut food waste.”