Panera Swears Off Artificial Ingredients, Thousands Petition To Say No To GMOs

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Panera

Last month, food chain Panera Bread announced it would remove artificial colors, flavors, sweeteners and preservatives from all its food products by 2016. Now, activists hope the chain will go a step further and follow Chipotle in swearing off GMOs, too. A new Care2 petition urging the company to eliminate GMO ingredients from their products has been signed by more than 2000 people since launching.

Panera says it’s already removed about half of artificial ingredients from its menu, but made no move to cast out GMOs. It cited a commitment to transparency as its guiding principle for the decision to remove artificial ingredients. Care2 petition author Diana Reeves, founder of GMO Free USA, says Panera should take its commitment to health and transparency a step further by eliminating GMOs, too.

Reeves points to Panera’s ingredients list as further evidence the chain uses ingredients that could contain GMOs — for example, its broccoli cheddar soup recipe includes hydrolyzed corn and soy protein, sugar, soybean oil, and citric acid, all of which could be genetically modified.

Mexican food chain Chipotle announced in January it would remove all GMOs in accordance with its “Food With Integrity” philosophy. In an op-ed, Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells cited a lack of consensus as to the safety of GMOs as a reason for the decision.

Reeves also believes removal of GMOs will be good for Panera’s bottom line. Chipotle’s stock soared shortly after it swore off GMO ingredients, despite the fact that the removal led to price hikes.

For more information, or for interviews with Care2, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at [email protected]

posted by: Eric Fujimori
7/9/14