Chobani, a company that produces yogurt, found itself the target of criticism over a new advertising campaign. Printed on the lids of many of its products was a slogan declaring, "Nature got us to 100 calories, not scientists."
The campaign was aimed at drawing attention to the "natural" ingredients in their products. However, soon after the slogan started appearing, scientists and others began contacting the company. Many of these people objected to the idea that the product was made without the assistance of scientists. People used the hashtag #howmatters, developed by Chobani, to promote their discussion on social media.
"Chobani Blueberry yoghurt - chock full of chemicals," wrote Darren Saunders, an Australian cancer researcher, on Twitter.
Soon, people from all over the world began to tweet ingredient lists, detailing a wide range of chemicals in their product.
Others even pointed out that the plastic containers that contain the snack were developed by science. Some scientists wrote of how science, and researchers, have contributed to agriculture since the beginning of time.
"We were being tongue in cheek and perhaps a bit too clever for our own good. The under-lid messaging campaign ended last week and was not intended as an indictment of science or scientists. Words matter and your feedback counts," Chobani officials wrote in a statement to ABC News. [http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/health/2014/06/05/chobani-apologizes-for-nature-not-scientists-slogan]
The reaction from scientists started with a tweet from Dr. Piper Klemm on June 3. She encountered the message in yogurt from the refrigerator of her in-laws, and posted it on Twitter.
Chobani is an American company, founded in 2005, by Turkish immigrant Hamdi Ulukaya. That year, the entrepreneur purchased a former Kraft plant in New Berlin, N.Y. He re-hired many of the former employees from that operation, as well as an expert on yogurt to create his new product. Chobani yogurt first rolled off the production line two years later.
In 2013, Chobani issued a voluntary recall of yogurt following the discovery of mold at a plant in Idaho. At the start of 2014, retail distributor Whole Foods removed Chobani from store shelves. When the news first came out, many people believed the move was made because the milk in the yogurt is produced by cows fed a diet containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Management at Whole Foods later said the decision was unrelated to the controversial GMOs.
In addition to the public apology from the company, Chobani has offered to send a free yogurt to any scientist who requests one through the company's Web site.