With A Name Like Smucker’s, It Might Contain GMOs?

smucker's peanut butter

The latest company to make the change to non-GMO may be Smucker’s, if Green America has anything to do with it. Yesterday, Green America’s GMO Inside campaign launched a major push: “Smucker’s: Make PB&J Great Again.”

“We are playing off the Trump campaign slogan, but in such a way that people will know that we are asking for something quite different – a return to PB&J before GMOS,” explains Michael Stein, Food Campaigns Manager for Green America. “In many ways this slogan gets at the heart of our campaign goals. To remind Smucker’s that they were built on outstanding products made without a reliance on genetically engineered ingredients and chemical agriculture, and that American consumers are increasingly seeking out clean, healthy, products produced without GMOs.”

The new campaign calls on the J.M. Smucker Company to stop sourcing genetically modified ingredients for its peanut butter and fruit spreads. GMO ingredients currently being used by the company include high fructose corn syrup, beet sugar, canola, and soy.

Smucker’s added GMO labels to some of its products this spring, notably Smucker’s Natural Creamy Peanut Butter. The label on this peanut butter, which only contains peanuts and salt, claimed that “trace amounts” of GMO substances might be included, probably a reference to trace GMO cotton, a crop that is often rotated with peanuts. There are no GMO peanuts produced in the U.S.

Meanwhile, the company has spent a total of more than $1 million fighting GMO labeling initiatives according to Just Label It, including $555,000 to stop California’s prop 37, nearly $350,000 against Washington’s proposed GMO labeling bill in 2013, and about $640,000 in 2014 against similar campaigns in Oregon and Colorado.

Green America is also asking Smucker’s to go a step further and source “the highest quality organic ingredients” for its products, according to GMO Inside Co-Chair John W. Roulac.

While the bipartisan federal GMO labeling legislation that passed at the end of last month will not be applied for two years, consumers continue to demand that individual companies, such as Smucker’s, transition to non-GMO ingredients and change product labels to include GMO information in the meantime.

Companies such as General Mills, Hershey’s, and Campbell’s have all recently committed to clear labeling of GMOs on packaging. Green America has successfully targeted several of these brands with similar campaigns, including Hershey’s Kisses and General Mills’ Cheerios.

Smucker’s is a producer of Smucker’s jams, jellies, and spreads and Jif peanut butter.

Related on Organic Authority

Anti-GMO Labeling Lobbyists Doubled 2014 Spending in 2015: $101.4 Million to Keep Consumers in the Dark
What’s the Biggest Issue with GMOs? (Hint: It’s Not Exactly Labeling)
5 Major Fails of the New GMO Labeling Law (and 5 Ways It’s Not So Bad)

Image care of Green America

Emily Monaco is a food and culture writer based in Paris. Her work has been featured in the Wall... More about Emily Monaco