In a press release issued yesterday, Campbell’s Soup announced support for a national mandatory GMO labeling standard. They are the first major U.S. food company to do this. Perhaps even more importantly, they are withdrawing from groups and efforts that have opposed labeling for years. They are putting their consumers first. It’s a smart move.
Taking personal responsibility for our health is a core American value—our country was founded on the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness.
By giving this fundamental freedom to their consumers through labeling these ingredients, Campbell’s is making a very patriotic move, and I, for one, hope that it inspires other companies to step forward and do the same.
Here is their release:
Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) announced its support for the enactment of federal legislation to establish a single mandatory labeling standard for foods derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Campbell believes it is necessary for the federal government to provide a national standard for labeling requirements to better inform consumers about this issue. The company 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 is also supportive of a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging.
As a result of its decision to support mandatory national GMO labeling, Campbell will withdraw from all efforts led by coalitions and groups opposing such measures.
The company continues to oppose a patchwork of state-by-state labeling laws, which it believes are incomplete, impractical and create unnecessary confusion for consumers.
Campbell is optimistic a federal solution can be established in a reasonable amount of time if all the interested stakeholders cooperate. However, if that is not the case, Campbell is prepared to label all of its U.S. products for the presence of ingredients that were derived from GMOs, not just those required by pending legislation in Vermont. The company would seek guidance from the FDA and approval by USDA.
Campbell continues to recognize that GMOs are safe, as the science indicates that foods derived from crops grown using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods. The company also believes technology will play a crucial role in feeding the world.
Campbell has been engaged in the conversation about GMO labeling for several years and has taken action to provide consumers with more information about how its products are made, including the presence of GMOs, through efforts like its website www.whatsinmyfood.com. With 92 percent of Americans supporting the labeling of GMO foods, Campbell believes now is the time for the federal government to act quickly to implement a federal solution.
It is a brave and brilliant move by the company and begs the question: “Who’s next?”
But perhaps the most important part of the announcement is that they are withdrawing their financial support from funding the campaigns and efforts that are anti-labeling. It is a huge move.
I had the opportunity to meet one of their VPs a few years ago, and when I sent him a note this morning, acknowledging the company’s leadership, he was quick to reply. It is such an important conversation.
The landscape of food is changing as the health of American families change.
These companies are listening. They are learning that those of us that are asking for more transparency in our food system are doing it because we are trying to protect the health of our families. Campbell’s, like others, is learning that we want food that is free from a lot of artificial ingredients, additives and things like GMOs. They are providing solutions—through new product launches and through labeling – and consumers are responding which in turn helps shareholders.
Taking personal responsibility for our health is a core American value—our country was founded on the right to pursue life, liberty and happiness. Giving this fundamental freedom to their consumers by labeling these ingredients is a patriotic move on the part of Campbell’s, and I hope that it inspires other companies to step forward and do the same.
Together, we can build a food system that meets the needs of 21st century families. As Campbell’s is demonstrating, we already are.