Campbell said it’s necessary for the federal government to provide a national standard for labeling requirements to better inform consumers about this issue.
The company said it will advocate for federal legislation that would require all foods and beverages regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture 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 said it will withdraw from 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.
If a federal solution can’t be established in a reasonable amount of time, Campbell said it will label all of its U.S. products made from GMO food.
Campbell is the first major food company to agree to label products with GMO ingredients.
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, praised Campbell’s decision to label its products made with GMO ingredients nationwide, not just in Vermont where a mandatory labeling law will go into effect in July.
“Their decision to disclose which of its ingredients are genetically engineered will give consumers the information they want and deserve, even going beyond what’s required in Vermont’s labeling law,” said Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union. “This is an important development for consumers, who time and again have voiced overwhelming support for GMO labeling.”
A poll commissioned by Consumers Union and a coalition of consumer and environmental groups found that nine in 10 Americans support mandatory labeling of products with GMO ingredients.
“While other companies are lobbying to override Vermont's labeling law and keep consumers in the dark about what’s in their food, Campbell’s announcement makes it clear that industry’s arguments don’t hold true,” Halloran said. “Consumers, no matter what state they live in, should be able to find out what’s in their food.”
The Environmental Working Group also applauded Campbell for its leadership and support of mandatory GMO labeling.
Scott Faber, EWG’s senior vice president of government affairs, 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.
Campbell said it continues to recognize that GMOs are safe.
With 92 percent of Americans supporting the labeling of GMO foods, Campbell said now is the time for the federal government to act quickly to carry out a federal solution.