Chipotle Mexican Grill (CMG) has finished removing genetically modified ingredients from its foods, making it the first big restaurant chain to do so, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The food chain has worked for more than two years to eliminate products that contain genetically modified organisms, more commonly known as GMOs. GMO crops, which are common among corn and soybeans, contain altered DNA that make the plants more resistant to pests and other environmental stresses. More than 90% of corn and soy grown in the U.S. comes from genetically modified seeds.
Many scientific groups and other proponents say these crops are safe, while critics say they cause a host of environmental ills and could even cause harm to human health. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of genetically modified crops.
Chipotle, which has 1,831 restaurants globally, has labeled which of its menu items contain GMO ingredients since as early as 2013. Co-CEO and founder Steve Ells said the chain has decided to eliminate these ingredients until the science is more definitive.