Monumental First Step! Give a Kiss to Hershey’s!
Hershey’s announced that as part of achieving “simpler ingredients” it will be switching to non-GMO sugar, removing artificial flavors (vanillin), and sourcing milk from cows not treated with the growth hormone rBST in its iconic Milk Chocolate Bar and Kisses by the end of 2015. This is a monumental first step from one of the leading chocolate companies and a large purchaser of sugar.
This is a major victory for consumers. GMO Inside has been mobilizing consumers on this issue for years, all of whom have been an integral part in pushing Hershey’s forward. The thousands of emails, phone calls, and Facebook posts worked! Take a moment to congratulate yourself in calling on Hershey’s to remove GMO sugar and thank them for this first step.
This is an important step in creating a better food system. Even consumers who don’t eat Hershey’s can celebrate this victory. As a large company with massive purchasing power, Hershey’s has the ability to move the non-GMO supply chain forward, breaking down barriers for other companies to gain access to non-GMO ingredients.
Consumers hold a lot of power. Let’s continue to use our voices to urge Hershey’s to take the next step and get non-GMO verified and remove the rest of its GMO ingredients. This announcement should be a beginning of change, Hershey’s has a long way to go before it is a truly sustainable company.
We urge Hershey’s to make the following next steps:
- Continue removing other GMO ingredients and obtain third-party verification for its non-GMO Milk Chocolate Bar and Kisses. Since no federal body regulates claims regarding non-GMO it is essential that Hershey’s goes through the process of being verified by a third-party which tests for the presence of GMOs. By getting verified Hershey’s will also be addressing the issue of milk from dairy cows fed GMOs (something that is not accounted for in the current FDA voluntary labeling standards) and other GMO ingredients such as soy lecithin. Additionally, Hershey’s needs to commit to not using ingredients generated from synthetic biology, such as vanilla.
- Continue removing GMOs from all of its products and brands. Though Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar and Kisses are its most iconic products, Hershey’s is one of the largest sellers of chocolate with numerous products lines.
- Go Organic! Hershey’s is taking a great first step by removing GE sugar, but in order to address larger issues within our food system such as the overuse of pesticides (many of which wreak havoc on key pollinator species), Hershey’s should transition to organic products.
- Stop opposing GMO labeling and support the right to know. Hershey’s is one of many companies who have openly opposed the GMO labeling of and states’ rights to enact such laws. As a member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an industry lobbying group, Hershey’s is part of the effort to enact federal legislation that would prohibit states from establishing labeling regulations.
- Continue to address child labor and other labor abuses. In 2012, after a multi-year campaign by Green America’s allies, Hershey agreed to certify its chocolate as child labor free by 2020. The company is on track with this commitment (and even ahead of schedule). And, Hershey’s can build on this commitment to ensure all the workers in its supply chain are fairly compensated.
Join us in congratulating Hershey’s for its commitment by posting a thank you message on its Facebook page and urging it to keep progressing further by removing GMOs from all of their product lines and getting third-party verified.