In a statement released today, Chipotle is officially asking Colorado voters to check "Yes" on Proposition 105, the ballot initiative that would require food that has been genetically modified or treated with genetically modified material to be labeled, "Produced With Genetic Engineering." Although Chipotle -- and other restaurants -- would not be subject to the regulation, which would take effect July 1, 2016 if the initiative passes, the burrito chain is already labeling menu items containing genetically modified ingredients on its website.
"Fundamentally, we believe that people have a right to know what's in the food they eat," chairman and co-CEO Steve Ells said in the 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."
Proposition 105 exempts certain foods from the labeling requirement, including food from animals that are not genetically modified but have been fed or injected with genetically modified food or drugs, certain food that is not packaged for retail sale and is intended for immediate human consumption, alcoholic beverages, food for animals, and medically prescribed food.
In response to opponents of the initiative who claim that requiring GMO labeling would raise food prices in Colorado, Chipotle sites a recent study by Consumers Union (the public policy arm of Consumer Reports) indicating that a similar ballot proposal in Oregon would cost $2.30 for GMO labeling per person per year in the state.
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Chipotle's website states "Our goal is to eliminate GMOs from Chipotle's ingredients, and we're working hard to meet this challenge." It also notes that the only genetically modified ingredients it currently uses are corn and soy.