GMO Free Claims Hard to Prove

How far does a restaurant have to go to claim it is GMO-free? Consumers world-wide are concerned about the risks of GMO food, particularly in Europe. Some Americans are also questioning the safety of GMO products that have been around for decades. In the U.S. there are currently no labeling requirements.

Chipotle is facing some legal heat for declaring that all of its food was GMO-free. They face a class action lawsuit in California base on arguments that their soft drinks use corn syrup made from GMO crops and that the livestock they use in their products is fed with GMO-based feed. Unfortunately for Chipotle, there's little they can do to force soft drink manufacturers to change their product, but the feed issue is raising new questions. Just how far does a restaurant have to dig into their supply chain's practices to make a legitimate claim that their restaurant follows certain practices?

It could be argued that feeding livestock GMO feed has no adverse effects on the GMO status of the animal. After all, the altered DNA in food hasn't been proven to alter the DNA of an organism like a virus would. Yet that's not enough reassurance for some who believe that all GMO crops are dangerous.

No doubt this issue won't be solved by just one case. There has been a growing movement by consumers to investigate company supply chains for social issues in the products they buy. While that is unlikely to spread to the restaurant supply industry, it may be something to watch.


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