Chipotle is one of the first chain restaurants in the country to make information about genetically modified ingredients available to consumers. Because space is limited on store menu boards, the information is available on the company’s website.
Chipotle customers who have concerns about genetically engineered foods may be surprised to discover how many of the ingredients fall under this category: all of the tortillas, rice, beef, chicken and fajita vegetables, for example; but they aren’t alone. Because labeling these foods is not required, most Americans have no idea if the food they has been genetically modified, but they’d like to.
More than 90 percent of Americans think genetically engineered foods should be labeled. It’s required in dozens of countries, but not in the U.S. Recently, the U.S. Senate passed the Fram Bill without any of the amendments proposing such requirements. Some state legislatures have taken on the idea including Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and Washington. Alaska has already passed legislation requiring labeling of GE fish. Last fall, a ballot initiative in California that would have required all GE foods to be labeled was narrowly defeated.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is mulling the approval of GE salmon- the first GE animal to be proposed for sale on the U.S. market. If approved, the GE fish will not have to be labeled, the agency has said. Dozens of retailers have responded to consumer backlash by pledging to keep the product out of their stores including Aldi, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Hy-Vee, Meijer, H-E-B. So and Target.