The most recent company to voluntarily add GMO labeling to its packaging is PepsiCo. According to new reports, the Frito-Lay parent company has begun labeling certain products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from both the Pepsi and Frito-Lay lines, ostensibly before Vermont's mandatory GMO labeling law goes into effect in July.
While neither brand has made an announcement with regards to a company-wide GMO labeling policy, Consumers Union recently spotted both a can of Pepsi in New Hampshire and a bag of Lay's potato chips in New York, each labeled, “Partially produced with genetic engineering,” Consumerist reports.
A Frito-Lay representative told Consumers Union that this is just the beginning of GMO labeling for the company and that more products will be labeled in the coming months.
The rep also said that the "partially" in the label indicates that no more than 75 percent of the contents come from GMOs. GMO Free USA tested Frito-Lay's Sun Chips in March of last year and found that they contain 100 percent GMO corn as well as residue of glyphosate, the herbicide companion to GMO crops marketed by Monsanto as Roundup.
If the company is keeping the labels quiet, it may be because Frito-Lay remains involved in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Vermont's GMO labeling law. As a member of the Snack Food Association, Frito-Lay/PepsiCo is part of one of four trade groups that filed the lawsuit.
The state of Vermont is still attempting to get Frito-Lay to turn over the results of the company’s surveys on consumers’ attitudes with regards to the use of GMOs. The company refused to comply with the subpoena for this information, and Vermont filed a motion to compel the company to turn over the documents in April.
Other companies, including Mars, Campbell Soup, and General Mills, have made more public announcements implementing GMO labeling nationwide. These announcements are nearly all motivated, at least in part, by the Vermont law requiring these labels on food sold in the state starting this summer.
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Pepsi image via Shutterstock