Citing widespread support among American consumers, Campbell’s has announced it will label products that contain genetically engineered ingredients.
“We are operating with a ‘Consumer First’ mindset. We put the consumer at the center of everything we do,” Campbell’s president and CEO Denise Morrison said in a prepared statement that was distributed to employees.
“That’s how we’ve built trust for nearly 150 years. We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food. GMO has evolved to be a top consumer food issue reaching a critical mass of 92 percent of consumers in favor of putting it on the label,” Morrison said.
Campbell’s move was hailed by the Organic Consumers Association.
“Today’s announcement by Campbell’s marks a significant win on the GMO labeling front for consumers,” said OCA international director Ronnie Cummins.
“Whether this major food company’s decision was forced by Vermont’s GMO labeling law, set to take effect July 1, or whether it is a result of direct pressure from consumers and consumer boycotts, the decision proves that when consumers consistently, and persistently, demand transparency, food corporations will eventually comply, rather than risk their brand images or retail sales,” Cummins said.
Morrison said the company wants to set a new standard for food industry transparency by supporting mandatory federal GMO labeling, at the same time insisting that GMOs are safe, and foods derived from crops using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods.
Nevertheless, the OCA said the decision is a rebule to Monsanto and other companies that are attempting to block GMO labeling.
“The decision by Campbell’s sends a clear message to Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association which have spent hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat GMO labeling laws,” Cummins said.
“And we disagree with the company’s claims that GMOs are safe, especially given that about 85 percent of GMO crops are grown with Monsanto’s Roundup, which contains glyphosate, a probable carcinogen, according to the World Health Organization.”