Before feeding my family anything commercially produced I do my homework. I carve out the time. I make the phone calls. I send the emails. I don’t do this for fun. I do this to safeguard our health and well-being. So when I willingly jump through all these hoops and scale all these hurdles I trust the response I’m given. If down the line I learn that it wasn’t 100% truthful it infuriates me and makes me want to throw all the punches I possibly can. I sign petitions. I send emails. I post on Facebook. I tweet. I make phone calls. I blog. I let anyone who will listen know how I feel. And I truly believe these acts will help affect change.
Here’s an email exchange I had with Chobani:
On April 29, 2013 at 7:39AM I filled out a contact form at www.Chobani.com asking:
Is Chobani yogurt GMO free? Down to the feed given the cows? Any information you can offer is greatly appreciated.
At 5:03PM that same day I received the following response:
Thank you for reaching out to us regarding authentic, strained Chobani Greek Yogurt. Here at Chobani we’re committed to using the highest quality milk to produce
nothing but good products for our customers. We request all suppliers of our product ingredients to certify that their ingredients do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Thanks for taking time out of your day to contact us.
Chobani Customer Loyalty Team
On April 30, 2013 at 9:52AM I sent a follow up message:
Thanks for your quick response. If I read your email correctly you “request” your suppliers to be non-GMO however do you require them to be? Is there any type of verification or communication on their end that they are in fact providing Chobani non-gmo ingredients? Any further information you can offer is greatly appreciated.
At 11:28AM that same day Helen Heverling replied:
If a supplier cannot provide a GMO-free certificate, we won’t won’t use the ingredient.
Yesterday I awoke to press release posted on the Wall Street Journal website which states “Chobani is the United States’ top Greek yogurt brand and it prides itself on adding no GMO ingredients to its yogurt. However, it is likely that the company is relying on milk from cows eating a diet full of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).”
Last time I read the above email exchange it confirmed that I specifically asked Chobani if their products were GMO free down to the feed given to the cows. Based on their response, Chobani has been a staple in what I thought was my GMO free refrigerator for the past several months. Even if there was the slightest chance that GMO feed was given to a cow whose milk made it’s way into their yogurt they should have done the ethical, professional thing by telling me they could not guarantee their products are 100% GMO free. And why do I expect this? Because when asked the same question this is the answer I’ve received from countless companies and it’s simply the right thing to do.
I can, however, thank Chobani for one thing. One more mass produced store bought item is now off my grocery list…for good!