Target: Steve Ells, founder and CEO of Chipotle
Goal: Commend Chipotle for labeling genetically modified ingredients
Genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) are so ubiquitous now that it’s nearly impossible to avoid eating them. The knowledge that your food could contain ingredients that double, triple, or quadruple your risk for cancer might make it alarming to eat lunch out, but you do anyway. Chipotle is leading the charge towards transparency by labeling its genetically modified ingredients.
Chipotle is a company known for responsibility: it uses milk from dairy cows not treated with hormones, and sources most of its meat from animals raised on pastures rather than crates. A good percentage of Chipotle’s vegetables—40% of its beans for example—are organic.
Chipotle lists all of its ingredients containing GMOs on its website. Out of 24 ingredients listed, 12 of them contain GMOs, including all tortillas and all rice. A note on the site says that Chipotle is trying to eliminate GMOs but can’t find consistent sources of corn and soybeans that don’t contain them. Chipotle has also historically campaigned for legislation mandating that all companies label GMOs.
There are no laws requiring brands to disclose that they use GMOs—Chipotle is acting voluntarily. Commend Chipotle’s founder Steve Ells for disclosing ingredients that contain GMOs.
Dear Mr. Ells,
We commend your company’s transparency in disclosing genetically modified ingredients. We know that it’s difficult to find food that isn’t modified (88% of corn, for example), and we believe in your efforts to make the healthiest food you can. Hopefully Chipotle can omit GMOs entirely one day.
We also commend your efforts to use meat and dairy products from animals not given synthetic hormones, especially since that would be a tremendous cost-cutting measure.
It must have taken a lot of courage to be the first company to list all of your ingredients. It would be great if you could list the GMO-containing ingredients in your restaurants as well as on your website. We hope that your openness encourages other companies to list GMOs.
[Your Name Here]