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The Organic Consumers Association calls the announcement “a significant win on the GMO labeling front for consumers.”
Campbell Soup Company (Camden, N.J.) handed a significant victory to proponents of GMO labeling on Thursday by announcing it now supports federal legislation that would make GMO labeling mandatory.
In the ongoing battle over GMO labeling, Thursday’s announcement marks a significant shift in allegiances for Campbell. After years of opposing mandatory GMO-labeling legislation, including California’s Proposition 37, Campbell now stands apart from most of the food industry in endorsing mandatory labeling.
“Campbell believes it is necessary for the federal government to provide a national standard for labeling requirements to better inform consumers about this issue,” says a statement from Campbell. “The company will advocate for federal legislation that would require all foods and beverages regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be clearly and simply labeled for GMOs.”
Even if a federal solution is not found for GMO-labeling, the company says it is “prepared to label all of its U.S. products for the presence of ingredients that were derived from GMOs.” Campbell says it also supports a national standard for non-GMO claims on food packaging, and is opposed to “a patchwork of state-by-state labeling laws.”
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA; Finland, MN) applauded Campbell’s action as “a significant win on the GMO labeling front for consumers.”
“Unless Campbell’s announces price hikes resulting from these new labels, this move proves that industry threats that labels will make products more expensive have been nothing more than empty fear mongering,” says Ronnie Cummins, international director, OCA.
However, Campbell’s did not change its stance on the safety of GMOs, continuing to insist they are safe and that “foods derived from crops grown using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods.”
OCA disagrees with Campbell’s assessment of GMO safety, but nonetheless congratulated the company “for being the first major brand to provide transparency around GMO ingredients,” says OCA’s Cummins.
Nutritional Outlook Magazine