Get out your spoons and dig in to a pint of Coffee Buzz Buzz Buzz in celebration; Ben and Jerry’s has announced its commitment to be completely GMO-free by the end of the year. Already vocal about the need to label GMO products, Ben and Jerry’s announced on May 30 that they intend to remove any and all GMOs from their products in the United States.
This change to the Vermont-based company was announced in a statement on the Ben and Jerry’s website. “Ben & Jerry’s has also committed to sourcing only Non-GMO ingredients for our products. Our goal is to do so by the end of 2013, but we will still be making this conversion into 2014.” The company states that its plan is to have all ingredients replaced by the end of this year, and the process of labeling to reflect the changes done by 2014.
Roughly 80 percent of the ingredients Ben and Jerry’s use in U.S are non-GMO. Currently, GMO-free flavors include Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry and the popular Cherry Garcia. Around 80 other flavors and 110 individual ingredients will be transitioned as the company seeks to source ingredients that are non-GMO and Fairtrade certified. Though the company acknowledges this will be a difficult task, it isn’t starting from square one. According to the Ben and Jerry’s website, all of their European products are already non-GMO.
Ben and Jerry’s decision to go GMO-free comes shortly after the approval of a bill in the Vermont House of Representatives in favor of GMO labeling. Ben and Jerry’s has voiced its support for the labeling of GMOs, saying, “We support those calling for transparency and a consumer’s right to know and support the push for mandatory labeling. We ought to all have freedom to choose whether or not we want to eat food that has been genetically engineered. We think this is a fundamental right.” Ben and Jerry’s have fought against GMOs since the late 90s when they went against Monsanto and the use of Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone, or rBGH.