Vermont-based ice cream maker, Ben & Jerry's, announced last week that it will remove genetically-modified organisms, more commonly known as GMOs, from its products. In a statement released on Friday, the company said that it will be completely GMO-free by 2015.
Genetically modified foods, which are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, have been a source of controversy in the U.S. and abroad. Supporters say the plants boost crop yields, increasing the global food supply, while critics argue the chemicals can be harmful to the environment and lead to serious health problems. Protesters in cities across the country took to the streets last week to demonstrate against Monsanto, the company most synonymous with GMOs.
The website will provide regular updates to track the company’s progress towards completely GMO-free ingredients and says it is finalizing its non-GMO sourcing standards for suppliers.
“In addition to supporting the call for transparency in food labeling,” read the statement. “Ben & Jerry’s has also committed to sourcing only Non-GMO ingredients for our products. Our goal is to do so by the end of 2013, but we will still be making this conversion into 2014.”
Currently 80 percent of Ben & Jerry’s ingredients in the U.S. and Canada are GMO-free. All Ben & Jerry’s products made in Europe are already non-GMO.