Hershey’s Going “Simple,” Removing GMOs from Kisses: What Does it Mean?

According to recent press releases, chocolate conglomerate Hershey’s is making a commitment to simplify its ingredients. This reportedly includes a move towards non-genetically modified ingredients for some products, including the famous Hershey’s Kiss.

While this change will not magically transform a Hershey’s Kiss or chocolate bar into a health food, it does signify the increasing power of the concerned consumer voice – which is demanding transparency, as well as real, pronounceable ingredients – now more than ever.

John P. Bilbrey, the President and CEO of The Hershey Company, stated: “We all want and deserve to know what’s in our food. Hershey takes pride in listening to our consumers and customers and understanding what they need… We also will share more information about what goes into our products in ways that are easy to understand and access.”

Based on the press release, the steps that Hershey’s plans to take include using “simple ingredients,” releasing information about what is in each product, and “thoughtful and responsible sourcing of ingredients.” This will reportedly include sustainable and traceable palm oil, as well as sustainable cocoa, and milk from cows not treated with growth hormones.

On whether these changes will include the elimination/reduction of GMOs, Hershey’s stated:

“We are leading industry conversations with suppliers and building our manufacturing capabilities to pursue non-genetically modified ingredients. Currently, we offer Scharffen Berger Chocolates, organic Dagoba Chocolates, Hershey’s Cocoa Powder and Hershey’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate. In 2015, you can expect products in our snacking portfolio that include non-genetically modified ingredients. We will also be transitioning some of our most popular chocolate brands, including Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars, by year end.”

On Hershey’s move, Nicole McCann, director of Green America Food Campaigns, said:

“We congratulate Hershey’s on this important move and great first step. As one of the leading chocolate companies in the U.S., this commitment will help move the rest of the companies in this sector. Hershey’s joins General Mills, Unilever, Post Foods, and other leading companies in responding to consumer demand to make at least some of its products non-GMO.”

Indeed, it is the influence of a huge company such as Hershey’s that makes this move so important. If multinational Big Food corporations are making the switch to simple ingredients, and working on phasing out GMOs, it means that the demand for these things is so strong that these companies have no financially sound choice but to listen.

chocolate kiss_FotorWe still don’t recommend going out and buying a bag of Hershey’s Kisses – even without the GMOs. These will still be filled with sugar – and even if it’s no longer GMO sugar, the stuff is still a deadly poison. Better stick to organic, raw, dark chocolate instead, and sweeten it yourself with raw honey, organic coconut crystals or unprocessed stevia leaves.

However, if each of us keeps voting with our dollar, and making it clear to corporations that we don’t want GMOs, chemical additives, antibiotics and pesticides in our food, suppliers will eventually have to respond to the demand. Maybe – just maybe – there will be a Hershey’s kiss in the future made from real, organic chocolate, sweetened with a natural, healthy sweetener such as coconut crystals, and made with healthy fat such as organic coconut oil.

Time will tell, but with all of us making our voices heard, anything is possible.

-The Alternative Daily


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