Pure Via sheds bioengineered ingredients
by Monica Watrous
CHICAGO — On the heels of General Mills Inc.’s announcement to make Cheerios with non-bioengineered ingredients, Whole Earth Sweetener Co. L.L.C. has reformulated its Pure Via zero-calorie sweetener without the controversial components.
The product now contains non-bioengineered dextrose derived from cassava root instead of corn. New packaging will reflect the change with a “Non-G.M.O.” label. In absence of applicable labeling laws in the United States, the company said it is following the European Union regulations for what constitutes non-bioengineered flavors and ingredients.
“We’re pleased to offer an all-natural tabletop sweetener that is made exclusively with non-G.M.O. ingredients,” said Cheryl Gill, director, North America marketing, for the company. “Consumers are increasingly looking for non-G.M.O. products and want to be educated about the foods they consume. We want to meet their expectations.”
Food manufacturers have been under pressure to eliminate or label products made with bioengineered ingredients. Earlier this month, General Mills said it has changed its sourcing and handling processes to remove bioengineered ingredients from its original Cheerios, and in December, Whole Foods Market revealed plans to stop selling Chobani Greek yogurt, which is made from milk produced by cows that are fed bioengineered animal feed. By 2017, U.S. non-bioengineered food and beverage sales may have a value of about $264 billion, or about 30% of all U.S. food and beverage sales, according to Packaged Facts, a Rockville, Md.-based market research firm.