Something bittersweet is happening in Vermont: the state’s groundbreaking GMO labeling law has now gone into effect, but is being challenged by a sneaky new Senate bill.Read More - Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law Is Now In Effect, But The Fight Continues Read More
Everyone has the right to know what’s in their food.
Ben & Jerry's has been proud to stand with the growing consumer movement fighting for transparency and the right to know what’s in our food supply. Over the past several years, we worked hard to support campaigns to win mandatory on-packaging GMO labeling. We were incredibly proud that our own small state of Vermont became the first in the nation to pass and implement mandatory on-pack labeling. However, this victory was short lived.
The United States Congress passed the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act) which preempted all states, including Vermont, from requiring the disclosure of GMO ingredients on food packages. Instead the DARK Act allows companies to use 800 numbers, websites, or other digital solutions that make it more complicated for people to learn whether or not a product contains GMO ingredients.
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are organisms that have been created using gene-splicing techniques, which allow DNA from one species to be injected into another species in a laboratory. This creates combinations of plant, animal, bacteria, and viral genes that do not occur in nature or through traditional cross-breeding methods. The most common kinds of GMOs include some varieties of corn, soybeans and other crops that have had their DNA altered to be resistant to chemical herbicides and/or produce their own pesticides.
It’s estimated that some 70%-80% of all processed food products on grocery store shelves contain one or more genetically engineered ingredients.1 Currently, people in the U.S. have no way of knowing which foods contain GMOs because companies aren’t required to disclose the information.
Sustainability We understand there are questions about whether GMO technology is truly living up to its promise of more sustainable farming and better food. And we’re concerned that GMOs are leading us towards an increasingly consolidated, industrial food 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 and what we believe is a more sustainable kind of farming.
Honesty & Transparency We’re proud to give you the whole scoop about our ingredients; in fact, we believe the more information we share about our sourcing decisions, the more our transparency helps create positive change in the lives of our suppliers. For example, a recent study has shown Non-GMO crops can produce equal or improved yields, profits and weed control, which helps the farmers who supply our ingredients.2
Simplicity GMO labeling means that food manufacturers whose products contain GMOs simply need to say so – by adding just a few extra words to their product labels.
Let’s Keep the Pressure Up
While the passage of the DARK was a victory for big food and big ag companies at the expense of a consumer's right to know, it is clear that this movement isn’t going away. We believe that the companies that stand with their customers and are transparent about their products and the ingredients they use will be the companies that will win in the marketplace.
Here at Ben & Jerry’s, we believe that people have a right to know what’s in the food they eat, which is why we support mandatory GMO labeling.
We’re not scientists, and we know there are debates pro and con about GMO usage. Regardless of the debate, Ben & Jerry’s believes people should be informed and have the right to decide for themselves.
We believe that everyone deserves to know what's in their food. Tell your representatives to oppose the DARK Act, which would stop states from enacting GMO labeling laws!Read More - The GMO Labeling Fight is Coming to an End, and the Big Food Industry Knows It Read More
That pint of Ben & Jerry's is more than just ice cream. It's a sweet batch of Fairtrade goodness that helps communities all over the world.Read More - Fairtrade Goodness: How Ben & Jerry's Ingredients Do Good Read More
The DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act threatens to undo all the progress we’ve made on GMO labeling in the US. It goes to a vote this week – here’s how you can take action to stop it!Read More - This Could be the Most Important Week For GMO Labeling Read More
“At Ben & Jerry’s, we’re really proud of the ingredients we use in our ice cream and we’ve always been happy to tell our fans what’s in the pint.” Co-founder Jerry Greenfield makes the case that labeling GMO ingredients in all foods is good for the consumer, and good for business.Read More - GMO Labeling: What’s Good for Consumers Is Good for Business Read More
Check out our photos from the road! We've been traveling all over the country supporting GMO labeling. Did you visit us at an event? Find your picture here