As the war against food transparency wages on, consumers concerned about genetically modified ingredients can breathe a sigh of—or, rather, slurp a sip of—relief. That’s because the Campbell’s Soup Co., says it has had a change of heart over the issue that divides Americans seeking greater transparency in the food system and the corporate food industry opposed to GMO labeling.
Last Friday, the Campbell Soup Co., which had long opposed mandatory labeling of GMOs, now says that it "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."
Campbell's CEO Denise Morrison wrote a letter to the company’s employees, and posted it on the Campbell’s website, saying that the move was a combination of responding to its customers demand for GMO transparency, as well as issues surrounding GMO labeling laws passed in several states.
"Printing a clear and simple statement on the label is the best solution for consumers and for Campbell," Morrison wrote.
Campbell’s says it will add GMO labeling to its packaging even if the government does not yet require labeling. But Campbell’s move to label GMOs doesn’t mean it’s eschewing genetically modified ingredients in its products—at least not yet. It provided a mock-up image of a can of Spaghetti-Os that read: "Partially produced with genetic engineering."
In a statement from Environmental Working Group’s senior vice president of government affairs, Scott Faber said:
“We applaud Campbell’s for supporting national, mandatory GMO labeling and we look forward to working with Campbell’s and other food leaders to craft a national GMO labeling solution. Consumers simply want the right to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown — just like consumers in 64 other nations.”
While a growing number of food brands have acquired the Non-GMO Project’s third-party verification on foods that do not contain genetically modified ingredients, proponents of GMO labeling say it’s still not enough—consumers shouldn’t have to guess when it comes to what’s in their food.
“Nine out of ten American consumers want the right to know, and want a GMO disclosure on the food package,” said Faber. “They want to make their own choices. Campbell’s should be applauded for trusting consumers to do their homework and make the choices that reflect their values.”
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image via Campbell's