Chipotle's stance on GMO's, and your right to know.
At Chipotle, our vision of Food With Integrity is about serving our customers the
best tasting and most healthful ingredients possible, sourced from farmers and ranchers
whose practices show respect for animals and the environment.
To that end, we want to call attention to an issue that’s important to Chipotle,
our customers, farmers, and quite frankly, everyone who eats—genetically modified
foods. The World Health Organization defines Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
as “organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that
does not occur naturally.” Most often, GMO crops are engineered to withstand heavy
applications of pesticides and herbicides or to produce toxins that kill pests directly.
A substantial portion of the food produced in the U.S. is grown from genetically
modified seeds. For example, more than 85% of corn and more than 90% of soybeans
planted in the U.S. are genetically engineered varieties. There are two ways to
eat GMO foods—you can eat them as ingredients in the food you buy, or you can eat
meat or dairy products that come from animals fed genetically modified grains. Unfortunately,
due to the pervasive cultivation of these crops, it is very difficult to avoid eating
food that contains them in one form or another—especially when product labels do
not disclose the inclusion of GMO ingredients.
Scientists are currently debating whether GMOs are safe to eat and safe for the
environment. This debate is reflected in the ways different countries regulate GMOs.
For instance, GMO foods are legal in the U.S. and do not require any labeling, but
in more than 40 countries—including the E.U., Japan, China, and Australia—they must
be labeled. In some parts of Europe and Japan planting GMO crops is illegal.
A clear majority of Americans support mandatory labeling of GMOs, but the companies
that benefit the most from GMO crops are spending millions of dollars to fight California’s
Proposition 37. If passed in November, this ballot initiative will require labeling
on raw or processed groceries sold in California that are made from genetically
modified plants or animals. Powerful interests, including many of the largest chemical
companies, have spent more than $30 million to encourage people to vote “No” on
Prop 37. This is compared to just over $4 million spent by those who favor the right
to know what’s in their food, including health organizations, organic food companies,
and others who want to support positive change in the food system.
At Chipotle, telling the story of our food has always been important. We want our
customers to know exactly what they are eating. For us, this is real transparency—because
knowing more about where our food comes from is always better than knowing less.
In light of this, and our vision of Food With Integrity, we wholeheartedly support
the cause of Prop 37, having endorsed the measure as soon as we heard it was on
We want to encourage you to learn as much as you can about the foods you eat, because
the truth should never be hidden, and you have the right to know.