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Quel fromage! Whole Foods' GMO labels make trouble for cheesemakers...


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Love artisanal foods and supporting small producers? Think GMO foods should be completely transparent, how hard could that be? A report from where the rubber meets the road -- your local Whole Foods.

This really sounds like a first world problem.

Miller worries that the GMO controversy is going to cost her more than a label. “I don’t want to take steps that will cost us more to pass along to the consumer,” she says. “Our goat cheese is already $26 a pound, and we already have the thinnest profit margin you’ve ever seen.”

Another issue is rennet, the enzyme used to coagulate milk – an important step in the cheesemaking process. Traditional rennets come from the stomach of a baby calf, and vegetarian-based rennets are also available. However, another rennet, known as FPC (fermentation-produced chymosin), is produced through genetic engineering. It is used in an estimated 90% of the cheeses made in the US.

“I’ve asked our supplier if they could send an affidavit that it’s non-GMO,” Miller says, noting that she faces pressure from consumers. “We’re in seven New York City farmers’ markets and Vermont farmers’ markets. Our customers face us every day and hit us with these questions. I don’t want to say our cheese is non-GMO if I can’t prove it.”

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