Better late than never. Early last year, Ben & Jerry’s announced it would switch to non-GMO ingredients for its various ice cream flavors by the end of the year. That did not happen, but progress is being made, as reported by USA Today. Going non-GMO was not a trivial thing to do, because Ben & Jerry’s is owned by Unilever, an international food giant that is staunchly opposed to GMO labeling in the US.
Genetically Modified Organisms are plants and animals whose DNA has been altered by insertion of genes from other plants or animals in a way that could not happen in nature. In the US, most corn and soy is genetically modified.
Science is still bickering regarding the long term safety of GMO crops, and consumers are demanding to know if packaged food products they are buying include genetically modified ingredients.
In Europe, GMOs are de-facto banned because they need to be labeled on products. The US regulatory bodies have not offered similar protections to American consumers.
Back to Ben & Jerry’s. The change to non-GMO ingredients has not happened as fast as the company hoped for last year. This is due to difficulty in sourcing non-GMO ingredients in the US. Many ingredients and additives are derived from corn and soy. The good news is that as more companies start sourcing these ingredients, more farms will go back to non-GMO crops.