Dean Foods. You might not have heard their name, but as one of the largest processors and direct distributors of dairy products in the U.S., you might have bought one of their products before. Garelick Farms, Alta Dena, Country Fresh, Berkeley Farms, Mayfield Dairy - all brands owned by Dean Foods.
Land O'Lakes is also one of the nation's largest dairy companies, boasting nearly 4,000 producers in its member-owned cooperative. Though not owned by Dean Foods, Dean Foods licenses a variety of Land O'Lakes products.
The one thing that all of these brands have in common? GMOs.
While not genetically modified themselves, dairy products are not immune to the insidious impacts of GMOs. Cows living on industrialized farms, or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), are fed almost entirely GMO crops like corn, soy, alfalfa, cotton seed, and/or sugar beets. In fact, 98% of GM soy and 49% of GM corn goes to feeding livestock and poultry. Animals, like humans, are deeply impacted by the quality of their diets. A recent study showed that pigs fed a GMO diet suffered from severe stomach inflammation compared to pigs given non-GMO feed. Additionally, while the dairy industry claims that genetically modified particles are broken down in the digestive tracts of the animals that eat them, GM particles have shown up in the organs and milk of animals fed GMOs, the same milk that humans then consume.
Dean Foods and Land O'Lakes work hard to promote an image of family-friendly dairy, but actions speak louder than words. Dean Foods claims that their white milk does not contain GMOs, while sourcing their dairy from cows raised on genetically modified feed. Land O'Lakes claims dedication to helping consumers make informed decisions, but contributed nearly $100,000 to defeat I-522 in Washington. Land O'Lakes is also the proud owner of Forage Genetics, the co-developer of genetically modified alfalfa.
To quote Dean Foods from their website: "Pure and simple, we ensure Mother Nature's most perfect food finds a place in every home." Not so "pure and simple", after all.
It's time to hold Dean Foods and Land O'Lakes accountable to the true quality of their products. Tell Dean Foods and Land O'Lakes to shift to non-GMO feed for their cows, and help us accelerate the shift to a non-GMO food system!