Fast casual restaurant chain Chipotle Mexican Grill has been riding high ever since it announced it would be switching to all non-GMO ingredients by 2015, posting its best stock market performance ever in July 2014 while reporting “blockbuster earnings.”
Now, the Chipotle chain (which once was a part of the McDonald’s empire ironically enough) has found itself in the position of being a leader and an icon for the GMO Free movement, as more and more people seek to patronize and reward businesses that align with their values when it comes to food.
Chipotle, based in Denver, Colorado, is also right in the middle of one of the biggest and most important “food fights” in recent memory: yet another balloting measure to label GMOs, this time in the Centennial State.
Titled ‘Proposition 105,’ the key measure to require mandatory labeling of GMOs in Colorado has been badly outspent by a total of $9.7 million to just $334,927 thanks a massive influx of funds from companies like Monsanto, Pepsi Co. and others who desperately want to prevent consumers from knowing what’s really in their food.
Despite the crying need for money, Chipotle has chosen to remain true to its corporate policy of not supporting any political causes financially according to the Denver Post, and will likely not donate any money to aid in the fight for GMO labeling in Colorado.
Chipotle CEO Endorses Prop. 105 in Statement
“Fundamentally, we believe that people have a right to know what’s in the food they eat,” Chipotle chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells said in a statement.
“Consumers want this information, and we are already giving it to them. But well-funded opposition groups continue to fight labeling efforts, with opponents putting their own profits ahead of consumer preferences.”
While Ells’ company hasn’t removed GMOs entirely from Chipotle’s menu, the company has been working to go 100% GMO free, and has already taken the step of labeling which of its foods do in fact contain them on its website, a move that was praised by consumers. Menus are also labeled according to this Denver Post article.
The endorsement has made major newspaper headlines across the country but left some supporters wondering if Chipotle should make an exception considering how badly the opposition is being outspent and how important the fight for mandatory, transparent labels has become in the United States where GMO crops are rampant and even some companies that claim to be non GMO are testing positive for GMO ingredients.
If successful, the Colorado measure would not include restaurants, food and drink for animals, and many animal-derived foods like milk and cheese.
Despite campaigns to the contrary, a recent study by the Consumers Union found that each consumer would only pay about $2.30 per year if GMO labeling were made mandatory.
What do you think about Chipotle’s decision to uphold its corporate policy to not donate any money? Let us know in the comments below. Colorado’s ‘Right to Know’ campaign website can be found by clicking here, and is now accepting donations.