Here is their latest response:
Thank you for contacting The Dannon Company regarding our position on the use of ingredients that have been enhanced through agricultural biotechnology.Sounds like a "yes" to me. "Agricultural biotechnology" can mean any number of technologies, one of which is genetic enginering.
Dannon has a 58-year heritage of providing wholesome, safe and good tasting products to its consumers.
All Dannon products are manufactured under strict quality controls and conditions that meet or exceed all applicable industry and government standards. We take great care to monitor all scientific information related to food safety, including that concerning the assessment of ingredients improved through agricultural biotechnology. To date, no information has emerged suggesting that these ingredients pose consumer health risk.
Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandate the safety of food. Each of these government entities as well as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization stand firmly behind the safety of these products.
For more information, we invite you to visit the following websites: The Alliance for Better Foods website at www.betterfoods.org, The International Food Information Council at www.ificinfo.health.org or The Council for Biotechnology Information at www.whybiotech.com. You may also contact The Council for Biotechnology Information toll-free at 1-800-980-8660 to obtain an informative booklet. Once again, thank you for your interest.
Mind you, I wasn't questioning the safety of the product, only the origin of their magical bacteria. It's the Dannon people who keep harping on safety, while coyly skirting around the real question. And that closing paragraph smacks of, "Go away, kid, you're bothering us."
This again highlights the importance of both clarity and honesty in one's writing. The letter seems to have been written by someone well versed in the art of obfuscation. I ask a clear yes-or-no question, they respond with an essay on food safety. This arouses suspicion. I ask the same question, and they respond with another essay on food safety. Suspicions confirmed? Sounds like.
What bothers me most about this is not the bacteria itself, but the fact that the Dannon representatives will not give me a clear answer. Withholding valuable information about their products limits the consumers' ability to make educated choices. If they're afraid that people won't buy their yogurt because it contains a GM bacteria perhaps -- hey, here's a thought! -- they could use a non-GM bacteria and promote their food as GMO-free.
Oh, Dannon, Dannon, why won't you be honest with me?