Four major food companies – ConAgra Foods, Kellogg’s, General Mills and Mars, Inc. – announced earlier this week that they will label food products that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. These companies join Campbell’s Soup, which declared its intent to do likewise back in January.
A week ago, GMO labeling supporters in the US Senate defeated the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, or DARK Act. That bill would have prohibited states from requiring GMO labeling. Vermont, however, had passed a mandatory labeling law a year ago, which is scheduled to go into effect July 1.
Why have five of the largest food companies in the world made public commitments to print clear GMO labels on food packages? The answer is that the writing was on the wall with the defeat of the DARK Act.
The other answer is that voluntary GMO labeling most likely means printing not overly clear GMO warning labels. On top of that, the industry has spent hundreds of millions of dollars during the last four years lying to the public about the cost of labeling in successfully defeating state and local campaigns to bring about labeling. Editorials have appeared in the corporate propaganda machine, such as the Oregonian newspaper, moaning the terrible cost to these companies, which would be passed on to citizens. However, the cost is negligible, and definitely less than hundreds of millions of dollars every four years.
The defeat of the DARK Act gives Congress the opportunity to craft a national mandatory GMO labeling compromise that works for Americans and the food industry. In the interim, the question is, which company will be next to provide clear GMO labeling right on its packages, where shoppers want to see it?
Hundreds of independent studies show that GMO’s cause numerous maladies, such as tumors, and they’ve been linked to allergies, autism, cancers and more.