Ben & Jerry's ingredient: Ben & Jerry's vows to stop using GMO ingredients in North America by next year

Ben & Jerry's ingredient: Ben & Jerry's vows to stop using GMO ingredients in North America by next year. Ice cream company Ben & Jerry's is to stop using genetically modified ingredients in its products.

The Vermont-based brand has promised to eradicate GM organisms from the recipes for its U.S. and Canadian products by 2014.

Only 80 per cent of the current ingredients are non-GMO, said a statement on the company's website.

It also promised to source as many of the new ingredients from Fairtrade suppliers as possible.

All Ben & Jerry's products sold in the European Union are already GMO-free, it said.

'Our goal is for all of our flavors to be Fairtrade certified and sourced with non-GMO ingredients by the end of the year,' the company said.

'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.'

Ben & Jerry's said it supports legislation to make labeling of food made with GMO ingredients compulsory.

A year ago, its parent company Unilever gave half a million dollars in support of the campaign against Proposition 37, a Californian measure to introduce GMO labelling, reports the Huffington Post.

Unilever joined forces with the likes of Monsanto, Kraft, The Hershey Company and PepsiCo, spending $44million defeating the proposition between them.

Last week the European Union urged its members to test wheat shipments from the United States after unauthorised genetically modified grains were found in Japan.

Tokyo halted imports of certain types of wheat from the U.S. on Thursday following the discovery of an experimental strain that was tested by Monsanto but never approved.

The EU's consumer protection office said on Friday that shipments which test positive should not be sold in line with the bloc's 'zero tolerance' for GM crops.

It also said it was seeking 'further information and reassurance' from U.S. authorities and had asked Monsanto for help in developing a reliable test for the GM grains.

The EU imports more than one million metric tons of U.S. wheat each year, mostly to Spain.

A farmer in Oregon raised the alarm a month ago after he found wheat growing ‘like a weed’ and could not kill it with herbicide.

The rogue strain was developed by GM giant Monsanto and is resistant to herbicide Roundup, or glyphosate.

It was field tested from 1998 to 2005, but worldwide opposition meant it was never commercially planted.

Michael Firko of the US Department of Agriculture said the last Monsanto field test in Oregon was in 2001. Afterwards, crops were supposed to be totally removed.

He added: ‘We’re all over this. We have nine investigators combing the area.’

About 90 per cent of Oregon’s wheat crop is exported.

Agriculture officials insisted the GM strain wasn’t a health threat.



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