Mmm Mmm Progress!
In a move that will set the major food company apart from its competitors, Campbell Soup Company will label all ingredients that are genetically engineered on its products’ labels.
The New York Times reports that the major food industry, which produces brands like Pepperidge Farm, Prego, Plum Organics and V8 (in addition to its namesake soups), is stepping outside of the norm by choosing to label any genetically modified organisms used in its foods.
The monumental step is an important one, as presently, 92% of American consumers desire to know if GMO’s are in the food they are purchasing and eating. This pressure has spurred Campbell to take a risk – one that is being applauded by many activists.
The big food corporation is also calling for federal action to make mandatory a uniform labeling system of foods that contains such ingredients.
Said Denise Morrison, chief executive of Campbell:
“We’re optimistic that a federal solution can be reached in a reasonable amount of time, but if that’s not the case, we’re preparing to label all our products across the portfolio.
…We’ve always believed consumers have a right to know what’s in their food […], and transparency is a critical part of our purpose.”
This is a huge contrast from most other major food corporations, which are seeking to supersede any state’s legislation with a voluntary federal solution (such as in Vermont).
Beginning in July, however, the state of Vermont will require disclosure of genetically engineered ingredients. To comply, Campbell and other companies are already in the process of creating labels that disclose the GMO ingredients used in their products.
A sampling of the company’s new label for SpaghettiO’s can be seen to the right.
It’s sparsely worded and does not specify which individual ingredients are genetically altered, but simple states: “Partially produced with genetic engineering. For more information about G.M.O. ingredients, visit WhatsinMyFood.com.”
The change in labeling is now expected to take 12 to 18 months.
Even in states that have not made it mandatory to label GMOs, a shift in the food industry is being witnessed. Grocery stores like Kroger and Safeway have highlighted organic and ‘natural’ sections to meet consumers’ demands. In addition, food providers such as Chipotle, Ben & Jerry’s, General Mills, and even Hershey’s are taking the initiative to eliminate genetically modified ingredients in at least some of their products.
But no companies have gone as far as Campbell. You can bet this will shake up the food industry even more, in a very positive way.
In a press release, the company stated:
“- Campbell’s will be launching several lines of organic kid’s soups, and removing MSG from all their kid’s soups. In August 2015, the company will introduce Campbell’s Organic soup for kids in three chicken noodle varieties. The soups will be non-GMO and certified Organic.
– Pepperidge Farm will be launching several organic wheat versions of their popular Goldfish Crackers. Look for organic wheat versions of regular, cheddar, and parmesan in the coming year. They still need to remove GMOs and go completely organic with the rest of their ingredients.
– Increasing organics across other food lines, and increasing the number of organic products offered by Plum.”
How is that for progress?
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