Curiously There is GMO Soy in Discount Tuna


Prop 37 was defeated in California so there will be no labeling of GMO foods in the immediate future. There are some companies that are able to label their foods as non-GMO but it’s tough for them to identify supply chains so at the moment in order to be GMO free you’ll need to eat solely organic foods. That is expensive.

I’m trying to set the stage here so that y’all understand that there might be some GMO foods in my home (besides the $40 Twinkies I just sold on craigslist). It’s nearly impossible to avoid GMO foods in the US but it’s still an ideal worth striving toward.

You should also understand that along with Monsanto, brands like Coca Cola, Kraft, Nestle, and Bumble Bee gave tens of millions of dollars to fight labeling. These aren’t small amounts of money so one must assume that these food manufactures want to quietly keep GMOs in the food supply. To be clear, Prop 37 called for labeling of GMOs not elimination of them.

What’s fascinating (and a little frightening) to me is how good Bumble Bee’s social media team is. Leah Segedie posted something on their facebook page asking about GMOs and the conversation got interesting fast.

As much as I appreciate Bumble Bee’s seemingly upfront response:

Soybeans grown in commercial quantities in the United States include both GM and non-GM varieties, but current regulations do not require the identification and labeling of these varieties, so consequently, our products containing soy broth may or may not be produced from GM soybeans. For more information, please visit the FAQs section of our website:

It’s simply not a complete response. If you are eating conventionally grown soy in America you are eating a GMO crop. It’s either organic or it’s GMO.

The conversation turned in a few different directions. Why is there soy in Bumble Bee Tuna? What are they feeding the fish? What about mercury?

The social media manager did something that I think is brilliant. What do you think about this?

I think it was respectful and smart. I also hadn’t realized until that moment that I was on the Bumble Bee Foods facebook page. I thought I was on Leah’s wall and they’d just been tagged. I’m not looking to fight with Bumble Bee Foods. I think we all learned from Oprah’s Hamburger right?

Well, the bloggers didn’t think it was a good response and this happened.

And  a few hours later the posts remain.

As someone who worries a lot about our oceans and our bodies Bumble Bee wasn’t a brand that ended up on my shelf. It’s just not the way I like to provide nutrition. I don’t really have a dog in this particular race.

Leah is an important woman. She brings health and fitness to thousands of women online in a non-judgmental way that is very well received (I happen to be too judgmental for her schtick). If Leah is talking about GMO Foods then you can assume that thousands of other women will be talking about it on their blogs too. She’s the Queen Bee in that realm.

Is Bumble Bee brilliant to let her post stick or foolish? We just got done talking about the Pantages, now we’ve got another LA Lady mixing it up.

For context here is the (very long) thread.

Leah Segedie
posted toBumble Bee Foods

4 hours ago ·

  • Does your product contain GMOs?
    Like · 
    • Bumble Bee Foods Hi Leah. Soybeans grown in commercial quantities in the United States include both GM and non-GM varieties, but current regulations do not require the identification and labeling of these varieties, so consequently, our products containing soy broth may or may not be produced from GM soybeans. For more information, please visit the FAQs section of our website:
    • Leah Segedie I’m sure moms would feel more comfortable if you didn’t have contamination in your food. Are you going to reformulate to a NON-GMO soy?
      3 hours ago · Like · 5
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Why is there soy in tuna? This is just weird (and sort of disgusting)
      3 hours ago · Like · 9
    • Amy Tucker Animal feed, I’m assuming.
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Amy Tucker they can’t possibly be feeding soybeans to tuna fish. That would be otherworldly.
      3 hours ago · Like · 3
    • Stacey Soleil BuzzzzBuzzzzBuzzzz – Attack of the Mommy Bloggers on Bumble Bee Foods. #JustSayNoToGMO
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Amy Tucker Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb I suppose it helps when I read for comprehension, huh? I was thinking catfish feed which makes no sense since we’re talking about freaking tuna. Obviously I need another cup of coffee.
      3 hours ago · Like · 2
    • Emily Ho Sandford It looks like there isn’t soy in the normal canned tuna or even pouches, unless it’s something that is pre-seasoned or in marinade. (Checking my pantry right now…)
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Dorron Katzin Perhaps soybean oil.
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Kimberly Bondi Grabinski Soy is a cheap filler and in addition to the negative health affects of GMOs it is also an endocrine disruptor. Studies have shown it affects children and may be a cause of rising infertility. GMO soy is a double whammy.
      3 hours ago · Like · 4
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Amy Tucker they feed that to catfish? Why? So gross.
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Amy Tucker Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Yup. Soybean meal is in a lot of animal feeds.
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Kimberly Bondi Grabinski if we’re talking about the overall health of the food (and the planet) and not just the GMO status no one should be worried about Bumble Bee Foods anyhow. The world’s tuna population is in peril, tuna is full of mercury and it’s irresponsible to eat it and dangerous to give to children in larger quantities. Stick with small fish.
      3 hours ago · Like · 4
    • Kimberly Bondi Grabinski Yeah we don’t actually eat tuna for a number of reasons. Plus it smells funny ;);)
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb I eat tuna but it costs a fortune and it sustainably caught.
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Kimberly Bondi Grabinski Indiana isn’t known for it’s oceans…
      3 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Stacey Soleil Most kids hate tuna anyways. This just helps me to not make it an option. Jessica, totally agree with you. ps. Happy Holidays!
      3 hours ago · Unlike · 1
    • Arié Moyal Small freshwater fish are best
      3 hours ago · Unlike · 2
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Kimberly Bondi Grabinski this is what’s in my cabinet

      jessicagottlieb’s photo on Instagram
    • Kimberly Bondi Grabinski Ah ok, I haven’t seen that. One of the struggles we have here is that we just don’t have the markets yet for some of these products. I can drive to Whole Foods 90 minutes away and get it, but then I wonder how sustainable that action really is. I’m trying to balance buying local and in season and avoid the crap that shouldn’t be in food. It’s a challenge but eventually, hopefully, I will have more options. I walk through the grocery store here and just shake my head.
    • Hope Bertram Does this statement make anyone else sad for the state of our country: “current regulations do not require the identification and labeling of these varieties”

      So are companies only going to label if the are FORCED? How about just being good corporatecitizens? 

      Leah – thanks for opening my eyes to how widespread the GMO problem is in the US. I was talking to someone from France at a party this weekend and we were talking GMO’s

      They are banned in France — They should be banned here too!
    • Lucrecer White Braxton I would like to see you label before you are forced to do so. Makes me trust your brand when you stand behind your product, right or wrong. I can’t buy your tuna now.
      3 hours ago · Like · 3
    • Bumble Bee Foods Hi all. It’s important that we reinforce that our products meet the standards and guidelines for food quality and safety set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, as well as all other international regulators. For those who enjoy our products and brand, we’ve created this Facebook page as a community to provide and share recipes, brand news and everyday health and wellness information. Per the page Rules of Engagement, we are removing this post because of its political nature.
    • Jessica Wilzig Gottlieb Bumble Bee Foods oops, I thought this was on Leah Segedie‘s wall. Totally fair.
      2 hours ago · Like · 1
    • Arié Moyal LOL Way to go Bumble Foods – hide behind technicalities!
      2 hours ago · Edited · Like · 3
    • Hope Bertram I kind of feel like this fits under health and wellness info…
      2 hours ago · Like · 3
    • Leah Segedie I don’t think food ingredients are political. Taking this post down would be though.
      2 hours ago · Like · 11
    • Danika Carter You’re not removing this because it’s political in nature, you’re removing it because you are afraid of this conversation growing. But as a social media professional, I’m sure you know that the uproar that will come from censoring this conversation will only draw even more attention to the issue. It will not make it go away. This has been a very civil conversation by customers with genuine concerns. If you don’t like this conversation, you’re better off addressing your customer’s concerns than censoring the conversation to try and hide the truth. I know several of the women in this conversation, and trust me, you don’t want to censor this conversation, because I can guarantee that the negative publicity you will be hit with as these women share their experience will me much worse for your company. You can assume they’ve already taken screen shots and will share them far and wide if this conversation disappears. Learn from other companies who’ve made the mistake of censoring conversations on their pages and had that decision go viral very fast.
      2 hours ago · Like · 6
    • Lucrecer White Braxton I hope you do not take this post down. I like your products, but I have a child with a chronic illness and I have to be more careful about the products I choose. I would love to see you not have a product that contains GMOs. That is all.
      2 hours ago · Like · 6
    • Shane Shirley Smith Please reformulate and be a leader for us moms and dads out here who are trying to feed our families healthy foods that will not lead to shortened life span!!!

      WONDERING HOW TO GO GREEN? Begin or continue the green living way of life with E

      B environmental news and consumer health info. Discover green living through organics, discover what GMO foods are and visit our green store. Our sustainability depends on our knowledge and actions.What choices will you …
      2 hours ago · Like · 5
    • Katherine Bewley This isn’t a political issue at all. This is about the health and wellness of the people in our country. That is insane you would say it as such. Thank you for the information! I had no idea soy was included in tuna. That’s very unfortunate, as I did pick your tuna for my children’s sandwiches because I believed it was a healthy option.
      2 hours ago · Like · 2
    • Hope Bertram Thank you for leaving this up
      about an hour ago via mobile · Like · 2
    • Anna Hackman Bumble Bee Foods, first rule of business. Listen to your customers. Is there really a need to have soy in your products? Simply asking to have it this link taken down you are totally ignoring what social media is all about. Address, Fix it (if you can) and then gain more customers. The winner is obvious.
    • Shane Shirley Smith Taking down the post will not stop the conversation.
    • Lori Westberry Watson “that our products meet the standards and guidelines for food quality and safety set by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, as well as all other international regulators” Because, yes, the USDA, etc DO have our best interest at heart. ::rolling my eyes:: Reformulate or lose business. Do what is right. Quit with the GMOs.
    • Christine Mathias This isn’t going to be a popular comment with a lot of you, many of whom I consider to be friends, but I think calling legal food products that you don’t like “contaminants” *is* a political statement. I’m all for removing GMO’s but creating an adversarial atmosphere on a brand’s Facebook page isn’t the way to go about it in my humble opinion. :):)

      Letting Bumble Bee how much support they would get from our community being an industry leader by electing to remove all GMO from their products is a far more powerful statement.
    • Lucrecer White Braxton Believe me when I say I want to support Bumble Bee. That is why my statement was asking them to be an industry leader. I happen to like the taste of their product better and the cost is where I like it. I want to see them lead in the industry, because not too many others are right now. We like tuna. Love it, in fact, I just want to protect a child who is sensitive to certain things being in her foods. And, props to Bumble Bee for keeping this post up. That speaks volumes. :):)

Stonyfield Preached and I Was the Choir


Yesterday I went to lunch at the Soho House in West Hollywood. Hint, if you want me to leave my house to listen to you talk about dumb things get yourself a membership to Soho House and invite me there. I’ll never join because it’s impractical but I’ll show up at your whatever to eat good food, have great service and no attitude. I’ve never been to the NYC Soho House but the LA version is pleasingly down to Earth.

This luncheon was decidedly not down to Earth in the loveliest way. Everyone was looking their best and since 95% of the room was women we’d clearly all dressed for each other. There was hair everywhere, dresses, heels, bright colors (lipstick included), tons of vintage Chanel and warm smiles abounded. It wasn’t so much a collection of random women as it was a collection of concerned women walking the same path.

Once seated there were speakers. There’s a lady named Barbara from Right To Know that was clearly nervous but also impassioned and gave a talk about finding allergies in her youngest child who was dining on Eggos, Go-Squeeze and some other frankenfood. She did her research and became an activist. There’s a compelling Ted Talk she gave, I’ll try and find it for you just as soon as I figure out who everyone is. To be perfectly fair I was sitting in front of a white peach and burrata salad dressed with balsamic reduction. Although I felt miserable later (not part of Previlean) I wasn’t really looking up much. A girl’s gotta eat.

One speaker was riveting. Gary Hirshberg is the co-founder and CEO of Stonyfield. He gave a compelling talk about the dangers of GMOs but what was much more interesting was that his business was built on a combination of altruism and capitalism. By employing organic farmers he created wealth, by providing Americans with organic food he created health and wealth (it’s expensive to be sick) and the environments around his farmers’ lands were dramatically improved in a few short years.

Gary and Stonyfield are proof that doing good things is a sound business model.

I’m sure you’ve heard me talk about prop 37 and the import of it passing here in California. It’s a simple proposition that will cost almost nothing. All it asks is that packaged foods that contain GMOs are labeled as such. It’s similar to adding a calorie and sodium count. Eat all the crap you want, I don’t care (well, actually I do hope you’ll love your kids enough to give them real food) prop 37 simply asks that your food is labeled so you can make a decision about what you’re going to ingest.

I’d like to encourage my out of state friends to look at Prop 37 and offer it some cyber support, certainly you have facebook friends who are California voters and your influence just might matter more than you can imagine. If Coca Cola is forced to label their drinks as containing GMOs (corn is their big ingredient) in California do you think they’ll have separate bottling/cannning for the other 49 states? I don’t either.

It’s one line of ink. It’s easy.

Cotton is one of the big GMO crops and though I’ve been very mindful of the foods I feed my family I’ve not been mindful of the cotton we use.  Recently Live Good sent me a swatch of the sateen they use in their bedding. It feels like heaven and I’m wondering why I don’t spend my money there? It’s no more expensive than anything at the department stores and buying organic cotton means a few tons less pesticides are being used.

Every time I buy something organic it supports an economy that supports my children’s futures.

Which brings me back to some of what Stonyfield Gary had spoken about… apparently some of the agent orange chemicals are now being sprayed on GMO crops… I’ll need to get confirmation on this one but we’ve got a whole lot to be worried about with modern industrial agriculture.

The luncheon was lovely and there were only two bloggers there, Leah and I. Leah always wants to take pictures and I really only want to take pictures when I’m ready to take pictures because although I adore my friends I don’t need 892734893 pictures of us and I’m a 42 year old woman who could use a little lipstick before you shove a camera in my face.

If you’ve ever tried saying no to Leah you’ll realize it’s a fruitless endeavor. So here we are she’s happy to be taking a picture I’m trying to be happy for her. Oh, and there’s a sunglasses story coming up soon.





A Little More About The Center for Food Integrity



1. adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness ofmoral character; honesty.

2.the state of being whole, entire, or undiminished: to preserve the integrity of the empire.

As a follow up to last week’s post about whom we should be trusting this happened.

Again, it’s important that you know who has funded the Center for Food Integrity (Cargill, Monsanto, Pfizer and Bimbo Bakeries are some of my favorites).

Here is the “informed food conversation” they would like to have. The following slides are materials they sent to bloggers in an effort to entice them to appear on their videos.

This is a LOT of money being spent to keep GMO foods from being labeled as such.

If you are in California I’m begging you to vote Yes on Prop 37.


tl;dr The Center for Food Integrity claims to be in search of a balanced discussion about food but they have planned a video with scientists which will address the concern folks have about GMOs to let folks know they’re safe. The CFI lies about not having an agenda check their membership.

How Do Bloggers Know When a Publicist is a Liar?


This morning I noticed an interesting piece at the Edelman Blog about Ryan Holiday’s Book Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. I’ve not read the book. I know that he pulled a stunt with one of the journo sites earlier this month so I was curious as to what the content might be and when Edelman wrote this:

 Holiday begins by describing “a scam called trading up the chain. I can turn nothing into something by placing a story with a small blog that has very low standards, which then becomes a story for a larger blog and that in turn for a story by larger media outlets.” Holiday’s media landscape begins with small hyper-local websites that are understaffed and traffic-starved. He then moves the story on to the online versions of legacy media, sister sites such as, which update often but have less editorial oversight. Finally one gets to the national media. Holiday contends, “This takes less direct pushing and a lot more massaging…the smaller sites will submit your articles to news aggregator sites like Digg…mass media monitors the aggregators for story ideas and cover what is trending there.” He suggests reverse-engineering a story path; knowing that mediabistro and Gawker are heavily read by the “New York Media” set, you “craft your story for those sites.”

A lightbulb went on over my head. In fact it was accompanied by dinging sounds and colored lights. I realized (not for the first time) that Mom Bloggers in particular are targeted by trust me liars every day.

Most often it’s fairly benign with folks being duped into thinking that a product performs differently than it does. Recently the Corn Refiners had a group of Mom Bloggers believing that “Corn Sugar” (the new name for High Fructose Corn Syrup) is somehow good for you… or at least not bad. America’s waistline suggests otherwise but we don’t need to have that debate today. The Corn Refiners succeeded in making a small group of smart women look gullible and untrustworthy. When the two groups of people (bloggers and publicists) walked into that room one of them had a plan.

Yesterday quite a few parenting bloggers got the following email from the kids at O’Malley Hansen Communications:

Hi, [redacted]:

I am contacting you on behalf of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI).

I’d love to discuss an initiative/project we’d be thrilled to have you be a part of. Given your expertise and platform, we’re really confident you would be a perfect fit for an educational (yet entertaining) video project regarding modern farming practices and consumer concerns. I am happy to share more information/discuss your potential involvement further at your convenience.

Essentially, we’re seeking a “consumer representative” to ask experts questions about modern farming and GM crops/food. The video will not be scripted and we hope to simply create a discussion between you and a specific expert.

Please feel free to give me a call or let me know when a good time is to chat. This should be a really interesting project that has a significant impact. You will have an opportunity to represent thousands of consumers/moms with families to feed and ask important questions about farming, food supply, etc.

Specifically, we want you to ask questions regarding the nutrtional implications.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration.

Modern farming! Why yes, who doesn’t have questions about that? It’s not like you drive past a red barn and see pigs rolling around in muck anymore. Farming has become industrial and our food looks different now than it did just a few years ago. Why? Well because folks like Monsanto make products like roundup to kill weeds. The problem with killing weeds is that it also kills plants you want to grow. The solution? Well, you can create new plants in a laboratory (which should NOT be confused with creating a hybrid) with altered RNA that will not be affected when toxins like RoundUp are sprayed over the fields.

Another cool things that scientists can do with crops is to sterilize them. These alterations in plants create Genetically Modified Organisms. Much has been written about GMOs. On the softer side of the news they tend to bankrupt farmers. You see the soy and corn they buy can’t produce seeds so the farmers are beholden to the scientists that create the seeds each year. This is not sustainable.

The Atlantic has a nice article about some of the dangers of genetically modified foods. If you don’t feel like reading it I’ll give you part of the punchline: cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and infertility.

So what does this have to do with  O’Malley Hansen Communications, The Center for Food Integrity and  Trust Me, I’m Lying?

Well, if I connect the dots appropriately I see that O’Malley Hansen Communications is inviting mom bloggers to be on camera asking scientists questions about farming on behalf of the Center for Food Integrity (CFI). Why wouldn’t they ask a FARMER about farming? Well, because farmers can’t answer questions about RNA and food safety and farmers are probably terrified of CFI because the members of CFI include giants like Monsanto that can make a farm disappear. Having a blogger ask the questions may look like an endorsement to the casual viewer. Mommy endorses GMOs! PR wins… health loses.

This is all very curious timing. Here in California we’ve put Prop 37 on the Ballot. Prop 37 would require packaged foods that contain GMOs to be labeled as such. KPCC has a list of folks who have donated money for and against Prop 37. There’s a bit of overlap between the two lists with Bimbo bakeries being the one with the largest overlap donation at $17,783.28. The CFI can’t help the con side without some level of disclosure so I’m sure that one has nothing to do with the other. I’m CERTAIN getting a news story placed about how GMOs are safe has nothing to do with the fact that Prop 37 has huge support here in California and no one is saying you can’t have GMOs, all they want is for consumers to know where they are.

Moms, what I’m telling you is that this isn’t a coincidence. Do NOT go on camera with a scientist to talk about food. Ask a farmer that doesn’t have a publicist. Promise them anonymity and get a real story. If you love your children (and I know you do) you won’t ignore the fact that $1,186,000 has been spent by The Council for Biotechnology Information, The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Dupont, and BASF Plant Science to prevent YOU THE CONSUMER from knowing when a Genetically Modified Organism is in your food.

If it didn’t matter would they spend the money?

Everyone knows that the moms matter. It’s an election year ladies, let’s stay smart and learn from Ryan Holiday about the publicists who are liars.

If you’d like to join the grass roots campaign to Label GMOs please go to and pledge your support. We need you.