Investors pressure food, beverage industry to oppose genetically modified beets

coalition of nearly 300 faith-based investors with more than $100 billion in
invested capital have launched an online campaign to pressure 63 U.S. food,
beverage and restaurant companies not to use sugar from genetically modified
sugar beets.

group, which calls itself the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility,
opposes the beets’ genetic modification because they say it could lead to a
dangerous increase in public consumption of a weed killer called glyphosate.
The beet strain has an added gene to allow it to survive direct doses of the toxic
chemical, and the group fears residual doses would remain on the beets when they
are converted into sugar for food and beverage applications.

U.S. Department of Agriculture approved the Monsanto-created beet strain in

group said the sugar from the beets would enter the market in thousands of
products in 2009, and the investors have called on internet users to send
pre-written emails to 63 companies including Pepsico Inc., Cott Corp., Dairy
Farmers of America, and Coca-Cola.

form letter – found at the group’s web site,
tell the companies that they have the power to “tell agribusiness firms that
you won’t buy sugar made from genetically modified sugar beets.” The letter
adds that 50 percent of consumers avoid genetically modified food when able.