Don’t be fooled by the fun-loving cow mascot. Ben & Jerry’s isn’t to be messed with. The ever-popular ice cream manufacturer is serious about its political views and has chosen to support a newly proposed GMO-labeling law in the best way an ice cream company possibly could: using one of its most popular flavors to both raise awareness and funds for the law’s defense.
Behold: Food Fight! Fudge Brownie
Attention ice cream lovers: Next time you visit the supermarket to purchase your favorite flavor, make sure you remember that Chocolate Fudge Brownie will temporarily be known as Food Fight! Fudge Brownie, The Week reported. The name change is a result of the combined effort of Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Jerry Greenfield and Vermont’s Gov. Peter Shumlin to raise awareness for a proposed Vermont law that will force manufacturers to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“This is a pretty simple issue. Vermonters want the right to know what’s in their food, and apparently a bunch of out of state companies don’t want to tell us,” Greenfield explained in a recent press release. And it does seem simple, right? Think again. Last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and others sued to block the law, the Associated Press reported.
Americans Deserve To Know What They’re Eating… Right?
Unfortunately, as with many pieces of health and safety legislatures, America is lagging far behind the rest of the world. A total of 60 other countries have already enacted laws restricting or labeling foods containing GMO, Ben & Jerry’s explained on its website. If passed, Vermont would be the first U.S. state to have such a law. There is one rather large obstacle standing in the way. State officials estimate that defending the law would cost upward of $8 million. This is where Ben & Jerry’s comes in.
Not only has Chocolate Fudge Brownie received a new moniker that will help raise awareness on the issue, but a dollar from each sale of Food Fight! Fudge Brownie will go toward the law’s defense, The Week reported. “We're used to putting dough in ice cream, but renaming Chocolate Fudge Brownie to Food Fight Fudge Brownie will help put some dough in the Food Fight Fund," Greenfield explained in the press release. In only one week, sales of the decadent dessert managed to raise $18,000, and the campaign will continue until the end of July. "We want to raise as much as we can," Shumlin told The Burlington Free Press. "The rest we'll do the old-fashioned way. We don't expect to raise the whole amount."
What Are GMOs, Anyway?
GMOs are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, or other plants and animals to create a different species that would not normally occur in nature or as a result of cross-breeding. It is done on a commercial level to help products become resistant to herbicide or to produce an insecticide. Those in support of GMOs argue they are necessary to prevent products such as coffee, chocolate, and wine from becoming too costly or scarce.
They also say GMOs can be developed to create superfoods, such as rice that can prevent blindness. The Non GMO Project reveals that a 2012 Mellman Group poll found that 91 percent of American consumers would like to know whether or not they are buying GMO products. “Regardless of the debate, Ben & Jerry’s believe people should be informed and have the right to decide for themselves” the company explained on their website.