Did Monsanto sabotage Chipotle?

Catrina Oberfeldt, Social Media Manager

It was mid-April in 2015 when Chipotle announced they would no longer serve any food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Their website calls out the research done on GMO safety, with most of the studies having been funded or completed by the companies that sell seeds containing GMOs. With nearly all the food we eat containing these organisms, it’s a huge industry.

One of the largest companies in this even larger field is Monsanto. They are a biotechnology company that owns 40% of the world’s genetically modified crops, including 80 per cent of genetically modified corn and 93 per cent of the genetically modified soy. They are also the center of quite a few conspiracy theories, as the effects of GMOs have not been studied in the long term. Some people believe that they have funded the sabotage of Chipotle, only six months after their announcement to go GMO free.

When Chipotle had a huge E. coli scandal, many people believed that Monsanto had paid to have Chipotle contaminated with the bacteria. The main point of suspicion is that it was, according to the FDA, and “rare genetic strain” of E. coli. Monsanto has a very long history of being involved in shady business practices, including influencing GMO labelling laws. Because of how Chipotle’s line is set up, it is hard to pinpoint exactly what food item was contaminated. That is another part of the mystery.

Because of how hard it is to pinpoint the source, the truth of what caused the outbreak will likely never be found. Is it plausible that multiple stores in nine different states all coincidentally had the same rare strain? Or was this outbreak something more sinister? From here it is up to you to decide what to believe.

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