Tropicana fruit juices will soon be labeled as free of genetically modified ingredients despite its parent company's efforts to ban state-mandated GMO disclosure.
The New York Times reports that Tropicana orange juice and four other varieties — totaling more than 90 percent of the brand's offerings — will be marked with the seal of the Non-GMO Project beginning early next year.
Although the juices essentially qualified for the labels by default — oranges have not been modified for commercial agriculture — observers said that it made sense to seek the label in a marketplace where some consumers remain skeptical about GMOs.
“We felt having external verification would give our consumers assurance,” Björn Bernemann, the brand's North American manager, told the Times.
The report, however, also points out that PepsiCo, which owns Tropicana, spent millions to combat state-level initiatives that would require labels of GMO foods.
PepsiCo is also a member of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which is fighting a Vermont labeling law set to take effect next year and is encouraging members of Congress to pre-empt state laws with a voluntary federal system.