Ben & Jerry's Celebrates Vermont's GMO Labeling Bill
Law to Require Manufacturers to Disclose GMO (or "genetically engineered") Ingredients on Packaging in 2016
MONTPELIER, Vt - May 08, 2014 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - Ben & Jerry's has scooped a considerable amount of ice cream around the country, but none was sweeter than to those who fought for a consumers right to know in Vermont. On Thursday Vermont's Governor officially signed the nation's first "no strings attached" genetically modified organisms (GMO) labeling bill. With one swift swipe of the Governor's pen, supporters erupted. This was a long day coming following years of hard grass roots led campaigning throughout every city and town in the State.
"We couldn't be more proud of all the people who did so much to win passage of this legislation, which shows that at least here in Vermont, democracy is alive and well," said Chris Miller, the company's Global Social Mission Activism Manager helping to lead the company's support of the GMO labeling effort. "As one of our top priorities for the year, we're thrilled to celebrate this win for a consumers' right to know with the rest of Vermont today," Miller added.
The new law doesn't limit the use of GMOs by manufacturers. It just requires manufacturers to disclose their use of GMOs on their product labels. Vermont is set to be the first state in the union to require manufacturers to take this specific labeling action.
To celebrate, Ben & Jerry's CEO, Jostein Solheim, and a team from the company brought their scoop truck to Montpelier and scooped out free Ben & Jerry's ice cream to all in attendance. Ben & Jerry's spent a considerable amount of time campaigning in support of a GMO labeling ballot initiative in Washington State last fall, which just fell short" said CEO Solheim, "and now you see the culmination of not just the hard work in Vermont, but from the more than 25 states that have considered labeling, that makes this action happening in our home state so much more special for all of us at Ben & Jerry's." Solheim noted that Ben & Jerry's next stop will be Oregon, where GMO labeling is on the statewide ballot this fall. Our objective is to eventually arrive at a national framework for GMO labeling.
For more information about Ben & Jerry's commitment to transition fully to Fairtrade and non-GMO sourced ingredients in 2014 please visit www.benjerry.com.
About Ben & Jerry's
As an aspiring social justice company, Ben & Jerry's believes in a greater calling then simply making a profit for selling its goods. The company produces a wide variety of super-premium ice cream, yogurt and sorbet using high-quality ingredients. Ben & Jerry's incorporates its vision of Linked Prosperity into its business practices in a number of ways including a focus on values-led sourcing. In 2014 the company plans to complete its transition to using entirely non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) ingredients by source as well as to fully Fairtrade certified ingredients wherever possible which benefits farmers in developing countries. Ben and Jerry's products are distributed in 35 countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchise Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shops, restaurants and other venues. Ben & Jerry's, a Vermont b-corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Unilever, operates its business on a three-part Mission Statement emphasizing product quality, economic reward and a commitment to the community. The Ben & Jerry's Foundation's employee-led grant programs totaled $2.5MM in 2013 to support economic and social justice, environmental restoration, and peace through understanding. For the inside scoop on Ben & Jerry's visit www.benjerry.com.
Want to own a Ben & Jerry's franchise Scoop Shop? We're looking for a few progressive entrepreneurs in key markets. Call 802.846.1500, extension 7818.
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