I walked into a health store, which shall remain unnamed, and the following conversation ensued:
Clerk: Can I help you find something?
Me: Do you have any of the Burt's Bee's lipsticks?
Clerk: No, we stopped carrying them when they got bought out by Clorox last year. But we have many other lipsticks.
Me: Is that how you decide what to carry, based on who owns the company?
Clerk: It's one way. Do you want to be responsible for everything Clorox does?
Me: No. But sometimes I do buy Clorox bleach.
Clerk: They're a horrible corporation. Have you seen their record?
Me: No. But like a lot of your customers, I drove here, using gas from Exxon, Shell or Chevron. So we can't exactly claim to be pure.
Clerk: Yeah, well, it's better to support small companies if you can. Here's a product you might like. It's hemp organics. It's a better product than Burt's Bees.
Me: It's certainly more expensive.
Clerk: You're helping a small company. And it doesn't have any of those GMOs.
Me: I'm not against GMOs.
Clerk: Oh. (Scathing tone.) Well, the rest of the world is.
Me: No, they're not.
Clerk: Europe, South America, Asia – they're all against it.
Me: You'll find GMO crops in all those places, and the ones that aren't growing it import GM animal feed. It's mostly just Europe that's opposed.
Clerk: And South America.
Me: Argentina and Brazil are really big into GMOs.
Clerk: They're fighting it in Mexico. There's a big movement to stop them taking over their corn.
Me: I understand the value of protecting indigenous seeds, but some GM technology could actually help do that, by making the land races more hearty.
Clerk: But look at what glyphosate is doing to our food supply. It's in everything.
Me: Well, some biotech traits are working to reduce pesticide use, like the Bt products. So you can't just lump it all together as roundup-ready corn.
Clerk: None of it's good for you.
Me: Did you see the American Academy of Sciences study that just came out? They said there are no health problems associated with GM crops and foods.
Clerk: Oh, studies like that are coming out all the time.
Me: Then why won't people believe them?
Clerk: Well, I say keep it natural as long as you can.
Me: Whatever that is.