by Maureen Mahoney
Some prominent names in the food industry, like Chipotle Mexican Grill, Whole Foods Market, and Ben & Jerry’s, are responding to consumer concern over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) by taking steps such as labeling them in their products or menu items, or by starting to phase out use of genetically engineered foods altogether.
Chipotle Mexican Grill, the fast-casual restaurant chain, is one of the first big names to come out in favor of GMO labeling. Happily, they’re showing some impressive sales growth in return. According to the Motley Fool, Chipotle recently saw an increase in total sales of 18.2%. This followed the announcement in June that Chipotle will identify GMO ingredients on its website. In addition to labeling, Chipotle will work to transition to a completely GMO-free menu.
National organic grocery retailer Whole Foods Market declared in March that they, too, will move to label all of their genetically modified products by 2018. They likewise promise to redouble their commitment to sourcing organic and non-GMO foods. Finally, Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream maker, has vowed to rid their products of GMOs by the end of 2013.
Progress on GMO labeling is continuing in the state legislatures, particularly in New England. While agribusiness companies helped knock down a proposition on the California state ballot in 2012 that sought to mandate GMO labeling, other labeling efforts have taken off in recent months. In June, legislatures in Connecticut and Maine approved laws in favor of GMO labeling, and Connecticut’s bill has already been signed by the governor. Unfortunately, these laws won’t be carried out unless nearby states also pass labeling laws. One such bill is in consideration in New York State where, early this week, Consumers Union will testify in support of the legislation
Consumers Union believes that consumers should be given the tools to easily choose GMO-free foods. We’re fighting to pass national legislation to mandate GMO labeling, and you can join us — click here to ask your representatives to support GMO labeling today!