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Chipotle Becomes First US Restaurant Chain to Voluntarily Label GMOs

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our All About Organic page.

The recent decision by Whole Foods Market to label all genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) sold in its stores by the long-off date of 2018 looks silly and almost meaningless compared to the right-now policy of fresh food chain Chipotle, which is officially the first and only major U.S. food supplier to voluntarily label GMOs. On its "Ingredients Statement" website, Chipotle clearly outlines which of its food products contain GMOs, and also states that it is working aggressively to source completely non-GMO ingredients for all of its products as it moves forward.

Chipotle has always marketed itself as a healthy alternative to fast food, having taken steps from the beginning to eliminate things like dairy products produced using the artificial growth hormone rBST, for instance, and replacing them with pasture-raised dairy products. Chipotle has also played a key role in propelling forward the local agriculture movement by sourcing as many locally-grown and organic ingredients as possible, and eliminating artificial additives and other toxins commonly used in fast food.

But now Chipotle has set the bar even higher, and by choice, delineating each and every ingredient used in its meats, beans, rice, and dressings, and clarifying which ones contain GMOs. The primary GMO offender, as you will notice on Chipotle's "Ingredients Statement" page, is soybean oil, which is reluctantly used in several of the chain's meat and rice products. In fact, this commercial frying and cooking oil appears to be one of the only, if not the only, GMO ingredient still used by Chipotle.

"Our goal is to eliminate GMOs from Chipotle's ingredients, and we're working hard to meet this challenge," explains the page. "For example, we recently switched our fryers from soybean oil to sunflower oil. Soybean oil is almost always made from genetically modified soybeans, while there is no commercially available GMO sunflower oil. Where our food contains currently unavoidable GM ingredients, it is only in the form of corn or soy."   


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