GMOS AND OUR FAMILY OF BRANDS
With all of the conversation around GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms, we want everyone to be informed about our food and drinks that are consumed by more than 1 billion people every day.
GMOs, genetic engineering, genetically modified organisms – these terms have been at the center of a lot of debate lately, and can be very confusing. On the most basic level, all “GMO” means is that a crop, like corn, canola, or soybeans, has been improved using modern scientific methods to give it more desirable traits. While people have been hearing more about GMO products recently, GMO crops and ingredients have been around for more than 20 years and can be found in the majority of cropland in the U.S.
GMO crops are used in some — though not all (PDF | 272KB) — Unilever products, and we want to explain why this is safe, efficient and smart.
Unilever has made a commitment to create safe, nutritious food; an important part of our Unilever Sustainable Living Plan is improving nutrition.
We are confident that foods made using ingredients from GMO crops are safe. According to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA), “credible evidence has demonstrated that foods from the genetically engineered plant varieties marketed to date are as safe as comparable, non-genetically engineered foods.”
These products need to pass the very same FDA safety requirements as foods made with non-GMO ingredients, and other leading public health organizations like the World Health Organization have backed up this safety claim.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association estimates that 70-80% of foods in the U.S. have some ingredients that were produced with GMO crops.
A main reason so many farmers use these seeds is because modifications to crops often means they can grow food more efficiently, with crops producing better yields, while being more resistant to disease, invasive species and weather. This is important, because it affects everyone by making food more abundant and affordable. Our continuing efforts to improve nutrition is why we are a strong supporter of the United Nation’s Global Goal of Zero Hunger, which we have worked toward with our own Share A Meal program.
Not only do genetically modified crops have the potential to help meet the world’s long-term food needs, but they also can sit alongside our sustainability ambition to source 100% of our raw materials sustainably by 2020.
Even though we are confident in the safety of GMO crops, thanks to the various studies by leading health organizations, we still want to provide people with all the information they are curious about.
We’ve made it clear which of our products are made with GMO crops using the SmartLabel GMO disclosure, so you can get the information you want to be an educated shopper. We will continue to uphold our job of bringing you delicious, nutritious food, that is high-quality and good value, and that you will feel good about feeding it to your family.
In line with our goal of making sustainable living commonplace, we believe that responsibly using science and technology in agriculture holds the potential to help feed the world in a more sustainable way.
If you’re looking for products made with non-GMO-sourced ingredients, we’ve got options for you (PDF | 340KB), as well. Our products that state “Non-GMO Sourced” on packaging or in SmartLabel all meet the Unilever non-GMO standard.
As with all of our products, our products that use non-GMO-sourced ingredients will have to meet the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code (PDF | 1.9MB) and are designed to help us reach our goals of meeting our high nutritional standards.
With more than one billion people globally enjoying our food and drinks every day, our goal is to offer a wide variety of products to meet everyone’s needs. Here are some products from some of our best known brands made with non-GMO-sourced ingredients:
You may know them best for their classic Real Mayonnaise, but Hellmann’s® offers many products and multiple non-GMO-sourced options. Their new Vegan Carefully Crafted Dressing for instance is made without eggs and contains non-GMO sourced ingredients, and neither do any of their new organic options.
Easily the leader in our non-GMO-sourced offerings, Ben & Jerry’s does not use GMO-sourced ingredients in any of their ice creams sold in pints, quarts, mini-cups, or Scoop Shops, and hasn’t since 2014. They’ve also added another option recently with the launch of their Non-Dairy frozen dessert.
We’re committed to giving people tasty foods they love, and these non-GMO-sourced options are just another way we can meet the needs of the billion people consuming our products on a daily basis.
With our commitment to transparency, we’ve begun using SmartLabel GMO disclosure for our foods so that whatever your choice, you can stay informed about your food.