And let us now be thankful for GMO-free salt, bottled water

You will doubtless be overjoyed, as am I, to know you now can buy bottled water that is GMO-free. And designer fine pink salt from the Himalayas, sold by a Texas entrepreneur.

Thanks to marketing, it is now possible to buy GMO-free bottled water. —Getty Images, Matt Cardy

Haven’t we always desired water and salt sans those insidious GMOs? And now, praise be, we can have them. It says so, right there on the labels. Henceforth none of that el cheapo Morton When It Rains It Pours stuff on our table! Although one can assume, I suppose, that since neither salt nor water has any genetic component, Morton is also GMO-free. Morton doesn’t originate in the mysterious Himalayas, however; it is, with the exception of one location in the Bahamas, produced in the U.S. of A.

Can someone in authority tell me, please, about the air we breathe? Is it saturated with GMOs, just waiting to do us ill? Are nasty GMOs bound up with all the hydrocarbons, dust (some of it, of course, from fields where GMO crops are grown, which may therefore automatically render it GMO-contaminated), and assorted other glop that’s spewed into the atmosphere every second of every day of every year by people who drive cars and SUVs and all manner of vehicles, fly on airplanes, burn electricity, grill out, mow lawns, and engage in countless activities that produce potentially deadly byproducts that go into their air, but which they give nary a thought to, while at the same time getting bent out of shape because they read stuff posted by various muckrakers on the World Wild Web that GMOs are causing cancer, autism, ingrown toenails, and every other disease/malady known to man? Is some eager entrepreneur ready to capitalize on our fears and offer GMO-free air? We can only hope.

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Oh yeah, and those millions of flatulent cows: Is all that methane they send into the atmosphere wreaking havoc with our DNA? After all, some of the corn in their feed is almost certainly from GMO varieties. Can we get a congressional committee to look into this? Inquiring minds want to know.

Meanwhile, we can all breathe a prayer of thanks to Congress and various state legislatures for labeling rules to inform us that salt and bottled water and other non-genetic products are free of those horrendous GMOs, and to corporate marketing mavens who’re exploiting the issue to capitalize on the ungrounded fears of a gullible public in order to boost sales and profits.

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This is true, we are told by none other than the paragon of capitalism, The Wall Street Journal. “Numerous products…are being sold as GMO-free or non-GMO,” writes Ilan Brat, “for no other reason than the label provides a marketing edge: consumers pay higher prices for a perceived value that, in fact, does not exist.” Let's repeat that in boldface: consumers pay higher prices for a perceived value that, in fact, does not exist. To its credit, the WSJ has generally supported the overwhelming science that there is absolutely no proof that GMO ingredients are in any way, form, or fashion detrimental to human health.

Brat — whose Twitter profile says he is “Chicago-based agriculture reporter with The Wall Street Journal. Formerly of Madrid. All you need in life are olives, cheese, jamón...” (if you must ask, the latter refers to fine, and expensive, Spanish ham, which given the EU stance on GMOs, is probably GMO-free) — further writes:

“The Non-GMO Project, a not-for-profit organization that, for a fee, can certify that a company’s product has no GM ingredients, has logged a big increase in the number of fruit and vegetable sellers requesting its stamp of approval in the past two years … The group charges companies anywhere from several hundred dollars to several thousand (for certification).”

Vendors of crops such as blueberries and lettuce, Brat writes, “are paying for non-GMO labeling even though their products aren’t among the small number of crops that are genetically modified in the U.S.”

Are we not living in the best of all possible worlds?

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