retail news in context, analysis with attitude

We had a story the bother day about e-commerce in Canada, which prompted the following email from MNB reader Randy Evins:

I am involved a bit with Loblaw and I see them as a market leader in E-Com. They have not jumped into the home delivery game but their “click and collect” process is world class and is growing leap and bounds. Home delivery is the last mile and I’m not convinced that it’s needed. The real truth is that the grocery industry has an affinity for siloed processes and dividing things up into e-com versus bricks and mortar does no one any good. It’s about commerce plain and simple and those folks that understand that today, and march down that path, will be ready for the next disruption and won’t have to undertake dramatic and expense transformations before they can move on.

I suggested the other day that perhaps it is time to get past the GMO labeling argument, and just move on with an emphasis on labeling products that do have contain GMOs. It is an initiative that anti-GMO/pro-labeling forces that achieve on their own, and it will allow them to change the argument on their own terms.

MNB reader Andy Casey agreed:

Couldn’t agree more about focusing on labelling items GMO free versus trying to get them labelled as containing GMOs.  That certainly sounds better to me as a consumer (as does “Natural” and “Organic”, etc. – but we know what a mess that is). 

Maybe that is enough but it seems that the science for or against GMOs is missing in action.  Beyond saying “we are GMO free!” is there anything which helps explain why that is better?

Frankly, most of the (very little) research I’ve seen on this subject to date seems to support the argument that there is no difference.

Regarding Coca-Cola's now-exposed efforts to use a supposedly objective scientific group focusing on the obesity crisis to push its agenda - that losing weight is about more exercise, not fewer calories - one MNB user wrote:

I don't understand why Coke is using the same play book as the tobacco companies.  Instead of obfuscating the truth and denying that refined sugar isn’t bad for you, they should get ahead of the issue and put “health advisories” on their products.  They should say that consumption of sweetened drinks is addictive and has significant health risks.  In addition, they should establish a helpline for developing a healthy lifestyle, and also for dealing with obesity and sugar addiction.  It won’t hurt their sales; people will still buy their products in spite of these warnings.  I know the health risks, but I still drink soda every day.  They might as well be a leader on the issue while they still have some creditability left.  If for nothing else, it may help mitigate the costs of expensive lawsuits that are sure to come.

Responding to our story about new food labeling proposals making their way through Congress, MNB user Tom Murphy wrote:

On a recent trip to Japan I was sitting next to an trademark attorney from Ecuador and while discussing the sad state-of-affairs in the US when it comes to food labeling and transparency she informed me of her country’s mandate of using a traffic light on food packages to show the buyer whether it is safe to eat or not. She also said that school children receive one hour per week of instructions on what the traffic light means to them. Lobbyist’s would never let Congress vote for something so transparent here…but let’s hope there will come a day.

On another subject, MNB reader Lisa Bosshard wrote:

Kevin, I am staying tightly attuned to the VW scandal as I happen to be an owner of one of the affected diesel cars.  Until 2 months ago, I had nothing but praise for the brand and my car.   To put it mildly, I LOVED it.  Now, it's almost embarrassing to drive knowing how much emissions are being spewed into the environment.   This was my first VW and my first diesel.    While it may not be my last diesel - LOVE the gas mileage, it will be my last VW!  They completely lost this customer, my family and all future purchases from everyone close to me.  One of our friends have 3 of these cars in their family and they are in the same boat.  None of us know what the company will do, the "goodwill" package is a joke, value has seriously decreased on the cars, we're stuck with cars that are not what was sold to us and we can't trade them at this time.  Don't know what the answer is, but I'm sure we won't be happy with the outcome.  The company would have to buy back every affected car to truly satisfy all the owners I know and that would bankrupt them.  It's not going to happen.

Also responding to the VW story (sort of), MNB reader Walter Peaseley wrote:

To quote you on the VW issue is like Hilary running for office.
“ I have to laugh. Who would believe anything these people (Hillary) say?”

I think your point is kind of gratuitous, but ... I'm pretty sure the answer to your question is "many Democrats."

If you asked the question about Trump, the answer would be "many Republicans."

None of this proves anything, except that many people believe who they want to believe and what they want to believe.  Many others try to figure out who is telling the least egregious lies.

Personally, I don't believe anybody.  I just try to find people who align with me on as many issues as possible that I think are important, vote for them, and hope I don't get too disappointed.

Democracy in action.
KC's View: