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Why Chobani reversed course, making yoghurt only from milk from cows not fed GMO grain

| | October 24, 2014

At the beginning of the year, I reported that Whole Foods had stopped selling Chobani yogurt over a spat the grocery store had with the Greek yogurt brand’s use of milk from animals eating genetically modified feed.

The spat went a little like this: Whole Foods only wanted to sell organic or non-GMO Greek yogurt. Chobani produces all of its Greek yogurt with milk from conventionally raised cows. Those cows were eating genetically engineered feed. Whole Foods seems to be under the impression that animal byproducts from an animal that has eaten GMO feed is also GMO. (Yes, under that same logic you and me and anyone that has ever eaten GMO food is now a GMO.) Whole Foods asked Chobani to source its product elsewhere so it was GMO-free. Chobani refused.

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Hamdi Ulukaya, the founder of Chobani, stated that he wasn’t interested in sourcing GMO-free milk for his yogurt, because the price would be through the roof. He would rather sell nutritious food to everyone over selling the same product with pricier ingredients to fewer people.

In a complete 180 degree turn, Chobani has stepped back from that lofty and honorable goal. Early this month, Chobani announced that it was partnering with Green America. Together, the company and organization will look into options of sourcing Chobani’s milk from animals not fed GMO feed.

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