NEW YORK (CBS/AP) — Chipotle says it has completed phasing out genetically modified ingredients from its food.

The Denver-based chain had already been using mostly non-GMO ingredients, but said in late 2013 it was working on transitioning to a tortilla that did not use them.

Most of the country’s corn and soybean crop is genetically modified to have certain traits like resistance to plant diseases.

The head of the Food and Drug Administration’s food safety center has said the agency found no basis that GMOs pose any different safety concerns than foods developed by traditional plant breeding.

Obtaining non-GMO ingredients for big businesses is expensive and difficult, making it an uncertain future for other restaurant chains interested to following Chipotle’s lead.

Chipotle Co-CEO Steve Ells has said the company felt it was best not to use GMOs given the “lack of consensus” about their effects.

San Jose State nutritionist Marjorie Freedman told KPIX 5 that she thought Chipotle’s move was a “marketing ploy” and said GMOs have nothing to do with the nutritional quality of the food.

Freedman applauds Chipotle for being transparent, but also said, “The consumer needs to pay attention to the calories, the fat and the sodium in their food. That is going to make a much more significant impact on their health, than whether the food is a GMO food or not.”

 

The completion of the phase-out was first reported by The New York Times.

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