Hershey's brings non-GMO confections to Europe, but not to US
Friday, December 24, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The Hershey Company is expanding its confectionery market to Europe. And the company plans to reformulate its Europe-destined products to be free of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in order to meet demand and to comply with the non-GMO requirements of Asda, the U.K. subsidiary of Wal-Mart that will be Hershey's exclusive retailer in the U.K. However, Hershey's has no intentions of changing any of its U.S. formulas, all of which are tainted with GM ingredients, say reports.
According to an email obtained by GMWatch, an independent watchdog group fighting pro-GMO propaganda, Hershey's agreed to reformulate 21 varieties of its chocolate products, including Reese's brand chocolates, to meet Asda's requirements. And a report in Confectionery News confirms this as well, noting that the reformulations are strictly for the European market and not for the U.S. market.
"The key ingredients which have been re-formulated from non-GM sources include changing the sugar source from beet to cane sugar and using IP (Identity Preservation) soy lecithin," explained Julian Walker-Palin, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Asda, in an email to Peter Melchett, head of the U.K. Soil Association. "In addition to this the transportation and storage have been confirmed also as GM-free or cleaned before use with these products."
According to reports, Asda does not carry any products that contain GM ingredients, so Hershey's had to agree to work with the company to create appropriate new formulas.
In the past, many large U.S. food producers have argued that reformulating their products to exclude GMOs is not cost effective. But why it was worthwhile for Hershey's to change its product formulas for the European market, but not for the U.S. market, so far remains a question without an answer.