Ben & Jerry’s Finally Agrees to Rid Its Ice Cream of Genetically-Modified Ingredients

STORY BY Jessica Elizabeth Pawlarczyk

Published: June 3, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I sure didn’t know that Ben & Jerry’s was (and is) guilty of using genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in their world-famous ice cream.

For the record, GMOs have been a source of controversy in the food industry lately, where FDA scientists claim that GMO foods can “create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases, and nutritional problems.” (Read the full article about the FDA’s warning here.)

As notorious as GMOs may be these days, I must admit that I am one of those millions of Americans who simply love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream too much to even care. In fact, immediately after reading the Huffington Post’s article about the ice cream company, I walked to my local CVS and bought a pint of B & J’s half-baked cookie dough ice cream. Embarrassing, but true.

Although I’m a big supporter of eating healthily and even buying organic foods, I just can’t get wrapped up in the GMO hype… Perhaps because I personally don’t think there is enough research to back up the FDA’s statements. Maybe once more testing is completed I will be a big supporter of eating non-GMO foods as well…

Overall, although Ben & Jerry’s does make use of GMO ingredients, it seems that the company hasn’t gone overboard in its usage. According to the ice cream maker itself, 80 percent of its ingredients are sourced non-GMO.

Despite this fact, B & J’s says that eliminating GMOs completely will be a lengthy and daunting process, as a single ice cream flavor can contain 40 ingredients. Therefore, the company will take until the very end of 2013 to rid its food of the infamous ingredients. It is probable that B & J will meet this deadline; after all, its website claims that, “all our products made in Europe are already non-GMO.”

Hmmm… Kind of makes me wonder why the company allows certain ingredients in the United States, while not in Europe. Maybe I should revise my previous statement about not being concerned with GMO foods?

All in all, I’d say I’m impressed with Ben & Jerry’s for listening to consumer concerns and making the pledge to eliminate all of its GMO ingredients. Although it may be a tedious project for the company, I am at least glad that its leaders are dedicated to taking health hazards seriously, regardless of whether these “hazards” may in fact be founded or unfounded.

It is my hope that B & J’s recent announcement will inspire other food companies to examine the use of their own ingredients. More importantly, I hope that B & J will promote additional studies on GMO foods so that the world can answer this burning question: Should we or should we not eat foods that contain GMOs? 

Other Stories by Jessica Elizabeth Pawlarczyk
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