Ben & Jerry's GMO Rally

Ben & Jerry's GMO Rally

If you were walking down Church Street to grab some Ben and Jerry's this afternoon; you were met with a sweet surprise. Vermont advocates gathered to support the new GMO labeling law outside Ben and Jerry's.
Burlington, Vt.- If you were walking down Church Street to grab some Ben and Jerry's this afternoon; you were met with a sweet surprise.

Vermont advocates gathered to support the new GMO labeling law outside Ben and Jerry's.

”People really need to know what they're eating, and have the ability to make a choice,” Vermonter Gerrard Sparacino said. “Whether you're pro or con you should know what you're eating."

Ben and Jerry's has a history of being transparent with their ingredients.

A spokesperson says their commitment to becoming GMO free by the end of the year, won't change their customer's experience.

"There are a number of ingredients where we've moved from a GMO to a non-GMO part of the ingredient, but that hasn't impacted either the flavor or the flavor name," Social Mission Activism Manager Christopher Miller said.

Except for one flavor: their Heath Bar Crunch will have to be repurposed to a Toffee Crunch ice cream, because of the GMOs in a Heath Bar.

"We don't get to go back to the people who make heath bar and say we want a heath bar, except these are the ingredients we want in that Heath Bar," said Miller.

One more flavor will be rebranded, but for a different reason.

Food Fight Fudge ice cream will be sold in the Burlington and Waterbury scoops shops.

One dollar from each purchase will go to Vermont's food fight fund to build a defense in the GMO lawsuit.

"Events like today showed that Vermonters want to know what's in their food and willing to get behind it,” Vermont Public Interest Research Group Advocate Falko Schilling said. “They're going to be contributing to the food fight fund and making sure we have the defenses we need to win."

And those at the rally hope spreading the word will encourage other states to follow Vermont's lead.

Ben and Jerry's parent company Unilever is a part of the Grocery Manufacturer's Association that is suing Vermont.

Ben and Jerry's says it has an independent social mission, and can take positions on issues that align with the company's progressive values.

For more information on how to contribute to the Food Fight Fund, visit their website, www.foodfightfundvt.org.

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