Most foods sold in the United States soon could have labels listing ingredients made from genetically modified foods, thanks to a Vermont GMO labeling law that is set to take effect July 1.
General Mills last week became the latest major food company to announce it will comply with the new Vermont law. The company’s action was apparently prompted by the US Senate’s failure to pass a bill that would have prevented states from requiring GMO labeling.
Significantly, General Mills announced its labeling will apply nationwide, and not just in Vermont. Two other companies – Mars and Campbell Soup – previously made similar announcements.
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“We can’t label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers and we simply will not do that,” General Mills Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Jeff Harmening wrote in a March 18 press release. “The result: consumers all over the U.S. will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills products.”
General Mills (NYSE: GIS) manufactures a number of popular and iconic cereals, including Chex, Lucky Charms, Trix, Wheeties, Cocoa Puffs and Cheerios. The publically traded company also owns Pillsbury, Totino’s frozen pizza, Yoplait yogurt and many other popular brands.
Mars Incorporated, the manufacture of M&Ms and other popular candies, is also planning to list GMO ingredients in its products. The company posted this statement on its website: “In 2014, the state of Vermont passed a mandatory genetically modified (GM) ingredient labeling law that requires most human food products containing GM ingredients to include on-pack labeling as of July 2016. To comply with that law, Mars is introducing clear, on-pack labeling on our products that contain GM ingredients nationwide.”
Mars also manufactures Uncle Ben’s rice, Wrigley gum and a number of pet foods, including Pedigree, IAMS and Whiskas.
It looks as if GMO labeling – finally — may be here to stay.
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