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Don’t Believe the Hype: Chipotle is NOT 100% GMO-Free

Don't Believe the Hype: Chipotle is NOT 100% GMO-Free

UPDATED AS OF 9/1/15: Chipotle is now facing a class action lawsuit for misleading customers into believing that its food is GMO-free. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WARNED PEOPLE ABOUT IN THE VIDEO SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. Read about the lawsuit HERE. You may have heard the news that Chipotle is now 100% GMO-free and that […]

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UPDATED AS OF 9/1/15: Chipotle is now facing a class action lawsuit for misleading customers into believing that its food is GMO-free. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I WARNED PEOPLE ABOUT IN THE VIDEO SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. Read about the lawsuit HERE.

You may have heard the news that Chipotle is now 100% GMO-free and that the restaurant is now cooking with only GMO-free ingredients. On its website, the company proudly boasts that “when it comes to our food, genetically-modified ingredients don’t make the cut.”

Yet, when you look at the details of what is truly going on, you’ll see that that these ingredients absolutely DO MAKE THE CUT.

First off, if you were an organic dairy and you fed your animals GMO-feed, you would NEVER get your organic certification. The feed must be organic to get organic certification.

Similarly, if you were a dairy producer and wanted to get Non-GMO Project verification (the Non-GMO Project is an independent, 3rd party organization that does field testing to determine if a product is GMO or not), you would never get the Non-GMO Project verification if you were feeding your animals GMO-feed.

Yet, Chipotle believes that since the animals themselves are not genetically-modified, the restaurant chain can therefore tell its customers that it is cooking with non-GMO ingredients. That is why this is so misleading.

To determine if an animal product is GMO or not, the type of feed that the animals are eating must be taken into account. Chipotle, however, conveniently side-steps this one very, very important point.

So, don’t believe for one second that you can go into Chipotle and order anything you want, thinking that it is non-GMO. Because it is just not true.

And I haven’t even mentioned the sodas, whose corn syrup is made with genetically-modified ingredients.


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  • It’s so unbelievable how crazy the whole GMO situation has become. It’s in everything and it really angers me how these companies didn’t ask anyone’s permission.. they just went and did it! Anyway.. there is my vent for the day. Thanks for this brave post Max.

  • Glenn says:

    One way to avoid this is to avoid meat and dairy altogether, which are the products of unfathomable cruelty and pain, not to mention completely unsustainable for the environment and unhealthy.

  • Anej says:

    You have my gratitude for assuming the burden of keeping a sometimes reticent public informed.

  • Brian Fredericksen says:

    The altered DNA protein in gmo corn is undetectable in corn syrup after processing. Those of us with a little bit of a Science background don’t consider that a gmo product

    • Nunya says:

      What about the Roundup? Is that still present? Anyone with a little science background would know there have never been any independent objective scientific studies proving long term consumption of gmo products in current amounts is safe. There have been some that suggest it is not. Just because something uses very highly technological processes performed by “scientists” in a lab doesn’t automatically make it a good and safe thing. The “science” argument is invalid on its own. But it sure is good enough for Monsanto to train their robot trolls to regurgitate into every intelligent well meaning conversation about the safety of species and planet. Great Job!

      • Max Goldberg says:

        Hi Nunya,

        The Roundup presence is clearly an issue but they have never made the claim that it is Roundup-free. The company has claimed that it is GMO-free, which I don’t believe it is.

        Live well,

  • Rosa says:

    As I commented before, they never said it was all organic. I believe they were transparent by writing that they are going GMO free but have to work with their GMO meat. That sound like transparency to me.

    We should be happy about this instead of knick picking…

  • Marge Teilhaber says:

    Thanks so much for your insight, Max. Much appreciated!

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Thanks Marge and Anej!

      @Brian – Those of us with a science background as well think that is nonsense.

  • “Chipotle goes non-GMO, BASF celebrates”

  • Juls says:

    Don’t point the finger entirely at Chipotle. There is a price requirement for GMO feed to be considered GMO. If it is below that price, they can call it organic.
    And ALSO, can we please give them SOME credit for TRYING??!
    We’re going to need baby steps because of the infantile mentality in this country.
    Showing support for companies like Chipotle is what is going to encourage more to follow. Obviously your pissing & moaning is doing nothing to help.

    • Max Goldberg says:


      Chipotle is making steps in the right direction, particularly with their organic tofu.

      You are misinformed about what can be called organic and GMO. It has absolutely nothing to do with price. It has to do with meeting organic production and handling requirements, and being verified by a 3rd-party organic certifier.

  • Chris Samoiloff says:

    I also applaud the steps they are taking and was in shock when I read this because I just took a picture of their sign that said they weren’t using any GMO ingredients. So, thanks to you, I have put out an inquiry to them on their FB page and I’ll try calling, too. But I’m going to encourage them to do the right thing. They are doing a lot more than most companies, however they shouldn’t be allowed to make the claims they are making until it’s really true.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Chris,

      I agree – they are doing a lot more than many fast food companies but I find their claim to be very problematic as well.

      All the best,

  • Saniel says:

    So are the fixins GMO Free too? Corn salsa, lettuce, guacamole, rice, beans, peppers&onions etc?? Are they organic?

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Saniel,

      My understanding is that the fixins are GMO-free but many of those ingredients (rice, beans, guacamole, onions, peppers) are not genetically-modified. And since these fixins are not organic, they are sprayed with toxic pesticides.

      Live well,

  • Rosa says:

    I meant that we are not their keepers. The company has been upfront. I already knew about this and they are going towards the right direction. There is something for everyone, for the ones who know that GMO are bad for us and for the ones who don’t believe. The company doesn’t want to lose any of their customers.

  • Rosa says:

    They haven’t lied. They said that the GMO are in the meat and that they are working towards that. As far as the drinks they do have organic drinks plus the pepsi, etc. Some people don’t believe the GMO’s are harmful and prefer to drink soda or such drinks. Their corn tortillas are GMO free and much of their ingredients. As long as I see them heading towards the right direction I will eat there and have an organic drink. As far as the ones who refuse to believe how dangerous GMO, well we are their keepers.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Rosa,

      This is not a debate about whether GMOs are dangerous or not. This is about disclosure. It is my opinion that the animal products which come from animals that were fed GMOs cannot be called non-GMO. This is the belief of the Non-GMO Project as well, an entity that verifies whether products are GMO or not.

      Live well,

  • BobCIl says:

    Max …… Good Job. Thanks.

  • Linda says:

    I’ve never eaten there but assume they must serve corn tortilla chips with salsa? The corn used to create those chips must be GMO too.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Linda, My understanding is that the tortillas and chips are from non-gmo corn. Live well, Max

  • Deep down we all want to believe that an entity the size of Chipotle could be transparent, authentic and honest while operating from a set of core values beyond profit. Unfortunately instead of being leaders in a positive food movement, they’ve been slick marketers and apparently dishonest. As long as people are buying what they are selling, be that food or lies, they won’t likely change. Unfortunate. Thank you Max for being the watchdog here. As I have experienced, there are many people in the progressive food movement that have sipped the Chipotle Cool-Aid that this reality will fall on some deaf ears.

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Thanks, Timothy. There are many people in the movement that believe that if the animal itself isn’t GM, you can therefore call the animal products that it produces non-GMO. The Non-GMO Project doesn’t hold this viewpoint and neither do I. Live well, Max

  • Marge Teilhaber says:

    Trust but verify, Max. Thank you. Max, what’s your thought on organic strawberries not being organic? I don’t know what to do. Just forget them?

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Hi Marge, I have spoken to people in the industry about it and they say (as the article does) that the methyl bromide disappears before the strawberries are planted. They don’t see it as a huge issue for the food but it definitely means more chemicals are being sprayed on our land. No doubt about that.

      Live well,

  • So great to make the details known Max. So many people think it’s all Non GMO.
    But we often don’t read the fine print do we? Or even the print!

    I read, and they did disclose that their pork and chicken were from animals fed GMO’s, but their beef was grass fed. But the headlines make it seem otherwise.

    I forgot about the dairy and soda b/c I don’t eat those.
    It’s insane if they do serve Coke or Pepsi when there are cane sugar sodas now. Not sure what they have, haven’t been there in a long time.

    Keep up the good fight. 🙂

    • Max Goldberg says:

      Thanks, Kris!

      Yes, they did disclose that their animals were being fed GMOs – exactly what I pointed out in the video – but then they also said they aren’t cooking with GMOs anymore. They can’t say one thing while admitting the other. It is very, very misleading to consumers.

      Hope all is great with you in SD!!!

  • John BrownleeBrownlee says:


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