Campbell Soup’s Move to Label GMOs Commended by As You Sow
Company Calls for Federally Mandated GMO Food Labeling
OAKLAND, CA – The Campbell Soup Company, the world’s largest soup maker and owner of well-known brands like Pepperidge Farms and Spaghetti-O’s, has announced it will become the first major food manufacturing company to label all U.S. products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Campbell’s has distinguished itself from many of its peers by calling for federal mandatory labeling standards for foods with GMOs. About three-quarters of Campbell’s products contain GMOs, and if a federal labeling standard is not established in a “reasonable amount of time,” Campbell’s says it will work independently to disclose the presence of GMOs in its products. The company did not specify a timeline.
Perhaps most significantly, Campbell’s is withdrawing from all efforts led by groups opposing mandatory GMO labeling legislation, including those led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
“This is a clear win for consumers, who have the right to know what’s in their food, and for Campbell’s investors, as the company takes a significant step to increase transparency,” said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow.
As You Sow has called on companies to respond to consumers’ preferences, and to comply early with Vermont’s GMO labeling law, rather than waste corporate funds fighting GMO labeling. In 2014, Vermont became the first U.S. state to enact comprehensive GMO labeling, which will take effect in July 2016.
“Campbell’s has proven that they are responding to the changing marketplace,” said Austin Wilson, Environmental Health Program Manager at As You Sow. “Consumers want to know what is in their foods and Campbell’s is responding.”
Last year, Campbell’s announced that it would remove artificial colors and flavors from nearly all of its North American products by July 2018.
For more than 15 years, As You Sow and the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility have engaged major food and agrochemical companies to address the risks of GMOs. Last year, after three years of shareholder resolutions from As You Sow, Abbott Laboratories introduced a non-GMO option of its market-leading Similac Advance infant formula.
The vast majority of GMOs grown in the U.S. are engineered to survive direct applications of herbicides, or to produce their own insecticides, leading to pesticide-resistance and other health issues. For more information about GMOs, visit As You Sow’s website.
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As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and innovative legal strategies. For more information visit www.asyousow.org.