Chipotle stops serving genetically altered food

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Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Monday that it is using virtually no genetically modified ingredients and that it is the first restaurant chain to do so.

Citing ongoing scientific research on the long-term effects of genetically modified organisms, also known as GMOs, potential environmental impact and customer choice, the Denver-based company said Monday it would remove the “few” GMOs in its food. The company said it was still working on its tortillas.

“The food we serve should be made with ingredients raised with care for animals, farmers, and the environment,” the company said on its website. “We’re doubtful that the GMO ingredients that used to be in our food meet these criteria.”

The Food and Drug Administration says GMOs are safe; corn and soybean crops are often genetically modified for resistance to herbicides and disease.

Monday’s announcement completes the burrito chain’s previously announced transition to offer only non-GMO foods. A year ago, the company said it would phase out GMO ingredients. In 2013, the company said it was the first national restaurant chain to voluntarily disclose the presence of GMOs in its food.

In January, Chipotle said it would stop using pork from one of its suppliers because of animal welfare issues, which led to a carnitas shortage.

Chipotle said many of the beverages sold in its restaurants contain genetically modified ingredients and that the company is also working to phase out meat and dairy that come from animals given “at least some GMO feed.”

The news was first reported by the New York Times.

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