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Fortune 500 CEO: The non-GMO trend is an ’emotional’ issue

June 16, 2015, 3:01 PM UTC

The hot topic of genetically modified organisms, commonly known as GMO or GMO crops, gained new momentum in April when Chipotle announced that it would eliminate the ingredients from its food.

In the science world, GMOs aren’t just a buzzword, they’re the source of a heated debate about whether there’s evidence that such food is harmful to human health.

The back and forth even ensnarled Bill Nye, known as The Science Guy, who in March, after meeting with agribusiness giant Monsanto, walked back his earlier comments that GMOs are fundamentally problematic.

On Tuesday, a Fortune 500 CEO Ilene Gordon of Ingredion weighed in. When asked about the spreading non-GMO trend on stage at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in London, Gordon—whose company processes corn, tapioca, and potatoes, and other raw materials—compared it to the gluten-free movement.”I think non-GMO is another example where you might have one or two friends … who are sensitive and who prefer non-GMO. It’s a little bit more of an emotional issue.”

Fortune‘s Pattie Sellers pressed the issue, asking Gordon if she really believed that non-GMO foods are not any better for people than GMO foods. Gordon said, “There’s no science per se one way or another, but we as an ingredient producer, we supply what the consumer wants to eat.”

Gordon touted Ingredion as one of the few companies in the United States that has access to non-GMO corn. “One of my facilities in Indianapolis is 100% non-GMO corn, and so we’ve been producing ingredients there for years to supply the European market. [That] demand is really growing in the U.S., so we’re very busy in Indianapolis supplying those ingredients.”