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Ben & Jerry's Ingredient: Ice Cream Company Vouches to Remove GMO Ingredients from its Products

Travelers Today       By    Natasha Hanano

Updated: Jun 03, 2013 03:55 PM EDT

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Popular ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry's has announced that they would remove genetically-modified organisms or GMO's from its products. The company released a statement that said it would stop using GMO's by 2014.

GMO's are organisms that have had their genetic makeup altered through genetic engineering in a way that does not occur in nature, said the company.

"GMOs include crops like corn and soy that claim they are resistant to chemical herbicides and toxic, persistent pesticides, and even a genetically engineered salmon that is meant to mature in half the time of a regular fish," the statement read. "Sounds great, right?  Now, we aren't scientists, we make ice cream, but we do know there are questions about whether GMO technology is truly living up to its promise of making bigger and better food, or whether it's just simply another way to further industrialize and consolidate our food and agriculture system.  Because Ben & Jerry's has a long history of supporting family owned farms, we're concerned that increasing GMO crops comes at the expense of smaller farms, which we believe is a more sustainable kind of farming."

Fox News reported that currently 80 percent of Ben & Jerry's products are GMO free. All of the company's products that are made in Europe are GMO free.

"There is a growing movement of consumers, and health and environmental advocates who are demanding that companies be transparent about whether or not their products contain GMOs.  Those advocates and citizens are calling for mandatory labeling of all products made with one or more GMO ingredient. In fact, there are already more than 40 countries around the world that have mandatory labeling of GMO foods," said Ben & Jerry's statement.

In addition to supporting transparent food labeling, the company said their goal was to source only Non-GMO products by the end of 2013 and will still be making the conversion into 2014.

"In addition to supporting the call for transparency in food labeling," read the statement. "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."

"That's about 80 flavors, 110 ingredients and more than 200 different products to transition this year!" it read. "There can be almost 40 different ingredients in a single flavor, so you can see how complex this undertaking is."

Fox News reported that the debate of GMO foods came out in California with Proposition 37. The ballot, which was defeated, would have required GMO foods to be labeled.

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