GMO Labeling Returns

The Senate may have failed to produce a GMO labeling bill before its own December deadline (a would-be companion to HR. 1599, the House’s bipartisan “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”), but the industry has wasted no time in the new year. Campbell’s Soup Company announced last week that it will disclose the presence of GMOs in its product lines nationwide and “advocate for federal legislation that would require all foods and beverages regulated by the FDA and USDA to be clearly and simply labeled for GMOs.”

The move represents a significant shift from the industry’s default position, which has opposed a label mandate on the grounds that the safety of GMOs (re-affirmed in the Campbell’s announcement) makes such labels costly and unnecessary. Now Campbell’s has said it will no longer partake in efforts to oppose a federal labeling standard led by the Grocery Manufacturers’ Association (GMA), which could prompt other GMA members to adopt its position as a way to permanently diffuse the issue. The GMA is scheduled to meet on the subject this month, as is the USDA, where Secretary Vilsack had already called for a 2016 stakeholder summit to help bring clarity to the market. The Secretary called Campbell’s endorsement of a single, national system “beneficial” for the industry.

Campbell’s Announcement:

Vilsack Response:

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