Ben & Jerry’s To Stop Using GMO Ingredients

The Vermont creamery aims to cut out all genetically modified products by the end of this year.

Ben & Jerry's

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Photo via Ben & Jerry’s Facebook

Here’s the good news: Ben & Jerry’s recently announced that it will no longer be using Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in its ice cream. The bad news, though, is that the company—which has supported GMO-labeling efforts in the past and we thought was all-natural anyway—was using them in the first place.

The research is still out on whether GMOs, genetically engineered products generally created to achieve a desirable trait, like added durability or nutritional benefit, that natural breeding cannot, are safe for consumption. But even if they’re currently approved for use, many people are (for good reason) wary of the man-made ingredients, and public opinion often favors anti-GMO methods, which is likely the reason behind Ben & Jerry’s’ decision.

Reports say that after Proposition 37, an initiative that would require companies to label any products that use GMOs, was voted down in California, Ben & Jerry’s vowed to remove any GMO products from its ice creams. The creamery’s website claims that “most” of its ingredients are already GMO-free, but the Vermont company issued this statement:

“Our goal is for all of our flavors to be Fairtrade certified and sourced with Non-GMO ingredients by the end of the year.

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

While we, like anyone with taste buds, love Ben & Jerry’s and are glad to hear that the company is making the switch, we have to admit we were caught off guard. The company has always placed an emphasis on sustainable practices and local, natural sourcing, so we kind of always assumed the ice cream was GMO-free all along. Come on, the stuff is sold at Whole Foods! If a company like Ben & Jerry’s uses around 20 percent GMO ingredients, how many GMOs are we eating elsewhere without knowing about it? Starting a backyard garden has never looked better, if you ask us.