Hershey drops bioengineered sugar from products

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Just a day after competitor Nestle USA announced a similar commitment, the Hershey Co. said it will begin transitioning to simple and easy-to-understand ingredients in such products as Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses.

“The dialogue around consumers’ changing relationship with food is prevalent,” John P. Bilbrey, president and chief executive officer, told investors on Feb. 18, 2014, at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton, Fla. “Consumers are telling all manufacturers that they want to recognize all of the ingredients in their food and that what they are consuming is made with the fewest ingredients possible.”

Hershey said it will begin making products with such recognizable ingredients as milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar. The company will share information on ingredients, sourcing, manufacturing and labeling with consumers on packaging and on-line. Additionally, the company said it will continue to work with suppliers to responsibly source sustainable ingredients, including 100 percent certified and sustainable cocoa and certified sustainable and traceable palm oil. The company is moving to non-bioengineered sugar and milk from cows not treated with rBST.

“We will strive for simplicity with all of our ingredients, but we may not achieve it with every product,” Bilbrey said. “This is a journey and it will take time.”

From Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars and Hershey’s Kisses, the company is removing lactose, vanillin and artificial flavor and adding natural flavor. Hershey also is dropping polyglycerol polyricinoleate (PGPR), an emulsifier, from its chocolate bars.n.

Read full, original article: Hershey switching to simpler ingredients

  • agscienceliterate

    Well, that does it for me. Buh Bye, Hershey’s; you’ve pandered to the hysteria crowd. Do the Hershey folks not know that bioengineered sugar (from gmo sugar beets), after processing, contain NO protein? (look at the sugar package) No protein = no gmo DNA.
    Naaah, they’re catering to the crazies.
    They just lost my business.

  • ForGMOEducation

    Seriously, shame on you Hershey. This is reinforcing scientific illiteracy at its finest. People are now going to think that refined sugar contains DNA.

    • agscienceliterate

      ForGMOEducation: Even tho sugar contains zero protein! It’s awful when policy decisions are based on public misperceptions, not on science and fact.

      • rick spalding

        It seems the biotech industry created this stigma themselves. They had plenty of opportunity through the 90’s to clearly state their case to the public. Regardless, subterfuge and obfuscation plays a part for corporations to increase profits. Oh, the irony now that the biotech corps have to get rid of the stigma they created. In the vast scheme of things, I think the corps are fine by already making massive profits by using gmo derivatives solely for processed foods.

  • JoeFarmer

    I don’t see anything in that article or in Hershey’s actual press release (https://www.thehersheycompany.com/newsroom/news-release.aspx?id=2017846) that states they are no longer going to use sugar from GM sugar beets.

    Maybe GLP’s headline is the problem?

    • JohnDoe

      It’s not in the press release, but it is stated in the Q&A: http://www.thehersheycompany.com/nutrition-and-wellbeing/q-and-a.aspx

      But what a waste, switching to a more expensive form of sugar, despite it being identical (after all, sugar is a highly refined ingredient). I guess they figure they’ll pick up more of the “natural, organic” crowd by making this move. Pandering to ignorance. Hooray.

      • Arthur Doucette

        They say “This makes our changes complex, so they will be prioritized over a number of years to source ingredients”, meaning they might not get to this for some time.

        • agscienceliterate

          They need to find a source of non-gmo sugar. Since most sugarbeets inn the US are gmo, they may have to resort to cane sugar from South America or Mexico. What standards for quality testing do we have for cane sugar imported from other locations?

          • JoeFarmer

            Since their cocoa beans come from outside the U.S., I doubt they care where their sugar comes from. There is some domestic cane sugar production in FL & LA, a little in TX and maybe still a little in HI.

            Quality testing involves sugar percentage and limits on ash content. There isn’t any testing for insecticides, fumigants or any of that kind of stuff as far as I can tell.

          • Arthur Doucette

            All imported sugar is non-GMO.

            All sugar from the SE of the US is non-GMO

            This geographical distinctions makes finding non-GMO sugar easy to source

            And that’s if you are making it in the US, but In 2007 Hershey’s announced that their Smiths Falls (Ontario) and Oakdale CA plants would close in 2008, being replaced in part by a new facility in Monterrey, Mexico.

            The Hershey chocolate factory in São Roque, Brazil was opened in August 2002.

            So most of their chocolate is not made in the US anyway.

      • JoeFarmer

        Yep, hard to understand how sucrose refined from a GM sugar beet is somehow “genetically modified”.

        Hershey’s should be called-out on that, in a very public way.

  • Rebecca Randall

    The release says: “The company is moving to non-bioengineered sugar.”

  • 5doogs

    Its a start.. Now to actually dump the gmo corn sweetener, beet sugar, & go to raw sugar, not from gmo sources… I will not eat the poison until they clean it ALL UP.. THE GMO industry has never proven there safety… . Roundup is not a food group, its a poison! When its killing our pollinators, poisoning our water systems & getting the green light to dump moor & moor poison on these gmo crops every year, just to stay away from the problems they have created, we just need to use our purchase power to stop this chemical co. Take over of our food supply. There are better ways to grow good sustainable food… I don’t buy it & will not eat it… B. S

    • agscienceliterate

      Dogs, first of all: clean up your spelling and grammar; you sound inarticulate.
      OK, now to your comment: Don’t eat it then. Eat organic and non-GMO foods. See? Problem solved.
      Your accusations and attributions sound as if they come directly from Big Organic sites, and hypsters like Vandana Shiva, and Food Babe, and Jeffrey Smith. In other words, babble.
      And please, while you’re cleaning up your spelling and grammar: Go talk to your kid’s science teacher who will patiently explain to you why X can never be “proven” to be Y. OK, simplistically: one can never prove that gmos (or anything else we eat, or use) are safe.
      Every one of your assumptions (as best as I could read them through the misspellings and grammatical errors) has long been shown to be inaccurate.
      But go ahead and eat organic.
      Leave the rest of us alone.

  • Richard

    I read here,Hershey will use ingredients that are simple and easy-to-understand such as fresh milk from local farms, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar.The company also reformulate its chocolate brands including Hershey’s Kisses Milk Chocolates and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars with simpler ingredients.