Campbell Soup Company found itself at the forefront of the food manufacturing industry last week when it announced its support for a mandatory national labeling standard for products containing genetically modified ingredients.
According to a news release posted to the Campbell website last week, the company said:
Campbell believes it is necessary for the federal government to provide a national standard for labeling requirements to better inform consumers about this issue. The company will advocate for federal legislation that would require all foods and beverages regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to be clearly and simply labeled for GMOs. Campbell is also supportive of a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging.
As a result of its decision to support mandatory national GMO labeling, Campbell will withdraw from all efforts led by coalitions and groups opposing such measures.
In a post published to the Campbell website titled Why We Support Mandatory National GMO Labeling, Campbell President and CEO Denise Morrison outlined the reasons behind the decision. Morrison's message reads, in part:
We are operating with a “Consumer First” mindset. We put the consumer at the center of everything we do. That’s how we’ve built trust for nearly 150 years. We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food. GMO has evolved to be a top consumer food issue reaching a critical mass of 92% of consumers in favor of putting it on the label.
In addition, we have declared our intention to set the standard for transparency in the food industry. We have been openly discussing our ingredients, including those derived from GMO crops, through our WhatsinmyFood.com website. We are supporting digital disclosure through the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s (GMA) SmartLabel™ program. We have announced the removal of artificial colors and flavors from our products. However, our support of mandatory federal GMO labeling sets a new bar for transparency.