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Ben’s Original

How ethical is Ben’s Original?

Ben’s Original is a brand owned by Mars Inc. which has a below-benchmark score on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Pasta, Pulses & Rice Ratings Table. Although Ben’s Original has not yet met our ethical benchmark, we hope to see the brand make progress in the future.

We would have extra confidence in Ben’s Original if it submitted itself to apply for Ethical Accreditation, whereby The Good Shopping Guide would make further detailed assessment and recommendations for ethical improvement. Find out more about the ethical issues facing the Ethical Pasta, Pulses & Rice sector.


What does Ben’s Original do?

Ben’s Original was launched as Uncle Ben’s in 1943 in the US. The brand produces parboiled rice and other related food products and is now owned by Mars, Inc.

In which areas does Ben’s Original perform poorly?

Ben’s Original was marked down under our criteria for GMO as its parent company, Mars Inc, states that it believes GMO ingredients are safe to use. Mars Inc continues to fund animal testing and is under pressure from PETA to change its stance.

Mars Inc donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent U.S. election cycles so Ben’s Original gets a poor rating for this criterion. Find out more about how we rate by exploring our ethical criteria.

Past Criticisms of Ben’s Original’s record

Ben’s Original’s parent company, Mars Inc, received a ‘D’ rating in Rainforest Action Network’s 2022 report which assessed brands on their efforts to address their part in deforestation. This was also flagged in a report by Mighty Earth in the same year, which stated that Mars Inc had not made good on its previously stated commitments to end deforestation in West Africa.

In 2021, a report from As You Sow gave Mars Inc a poor score of 6 out of 27 for risks associated with synthetic pesticides in agricultural supply chains.

In which areas does Ben’s Original score well for its ethics?

Ben’s Original’s parent company, Mars Inc, has a Sustainability Plan with targets for carbon emissions, water and packaging, which also includes evidence of progress. The Mars Inc website also presents additional targets on its ‘Building a Healthy Planet’ plan, so Ben’s Original gets a good score for its Environmental Report.

We found no criticisms of Ben’s Original relating to Nuclear, Fossil Fuels or Armaments so it scores well for these criteria.

How can Ben’s Original improve its ethical rating?

The below-benchmark score that Ben’s Original is awarded on The Good Shopping Guide’s Ethical Pasta, Pulses & Rice Ratings Table is the result of an evaluation of multiple ethical criteria.

To reach our minimum ethical benchmark and qualify for Ethical Accreditation, Ben’s Original has some issues to resolve, including  its use of GMO ingredients, and support for animal testing. If it applies for Ethical Accreditation, The Good Shopping Guide will be able to give Ben’s Original some guidance to improve on these areas.

Were you aware that your brand could benefit from Ethical Accreditation? Brands accredited by The Good Shopping Guide can display our Ethical Mark, showcasing to consumers that it is an ethical and sustainable brand. If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us or complete a Free Initial Assessment form.

Ethical performance in category


GSG score


GSG category benchmark


Ethical Rating


  • Environmental Report


  • Genetic Modification


  • Organic


  • Nuclear Power


  • Fossil Fuels



  • Animal Welfare



  • Armaments


  • Political Donations



  • Ethical Accreditation


  • Public Record Criticisms


  • Public Record Criticisms+


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