Iconic Vermont ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's announced a name change for a popular flavor Monday to help raise money to defend a new state law that requires the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms.
Gov. Peter Shumlin and company co-founder Jerry Greenfield together promoted a legal fund set up to fight the lawsuit outside the ice cream maker's downtown Burlington store.
"We now need your help to beat the food manufacturers," the governor said. Ben & Jerry's also renamed its fudge brownie ice cream Food Fight! Fudge Brownie for the month of July, The Burlington Free Press reported.
Greenfield said the company and brand he helped found will contribute $1 from each purchase at the Burlington and Waterbury scoop shops to the state's Food Fight Fund.
Ben & Jerry's is in the process of transforming all its flavors to non-genetically modified ingredients. Greenfield said he was thrilled the company decided to stop using GMOs. Two years ago, before the company had taken a stand on the issue, Greenfield testified on his own behalf before the Legislature in favor of GMO labeling.
"Now it's all-in," Greenfield said. "I feel much happier about it." Last month, Shumlin signed a first-in-the-nation law requiring the labeling of food made with GMOs.
Last week, as expected, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and others sued to block the law, which is due to take effect in 2016.
State officials have estimated defending the law could cost Vermont $8 million. By the end of last week the defense fund had raised about $18,000.