Campbell Soup Co. To Become First Major U.S. Food Company To Label GMOs

While Monsanto and others continue to pledge millions in the fight against GMO labeling, one major U.S. food company will become the first of its kind to actually label GMOs in their products.

In a move applauded by critics of genetically modified organisms in food, Campbell Soup Co. has made the decision to clearly label any ingredients in their products that contain GMOs.

According to Reuters, not only will Campbell’s clearly label their products, the world’s largest soup manufacturer has said it also supports the enactment of federal legislation for a single mandatory labeling standard for GMO-derived foods, as well as a national standard for non-GMO labeling on natural foods. Besides producing their well-known soups, the company also makes Pepperidge Farm cookies and Prego pasta sauces.

Recently, there has been much controversy about genetically modified organisms and their inclusion in our food. Many say not enough research has been done about the effects of these ingredients on our health and the environment in general.

The major corporations, like Monsanto, PepsiCo Inc. and Kellogg Co. have continued to pump millions of dollars into efforts to defeat ballot measures to label GMOs, stating that said labeling would add unnecessary costs to the products. California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington are among the states pushing for legislation for GMO labeling and in some cases Monsanto has even threatened to sue the entire state should they pass the legislation to label GMOs.

Relating particularly to California’s efforts to label GMOs, the six largest agrochemical and biotech seek companies – Monsanto, Dupont, Dow AgroSciences, Bayer CropScience, BASF Plant Science and Syngenta AG – spent over $21.5 million in their efforts to defeat the 2012 California proposition to label GMOs.

According to a report by the Guardian, Vermont was the first U.S. state to successfully pass a law requiring food companies to label GMOs back in 2014 and this legislation will come into effect in July of this year.

Now, with baby steps, something more is being done about the whole GMO labeling issue. Campbell Soup Co. has also said it will withdraw and keep away from all efforts by groups opposing GMO labeling.

What Campbell’s said in a statement late Thursday was that should no federal solution be found to the GMO labeling controversy, they are fully prepared to label all their U.S. products to list any ingredients derived from GMOs. The company said it would be seeking guidance from the FDA and also approval by USDA.

This isn’t the first step by Campbell Soup Co. to keep their customers happy. Back in July last year, the soup company stated it would stop including monosodium glutamate (MSG) in condensed soups intended for children and they will only use non-GMO ingredients sourced from U.S. organic farms for their organic line of soup for children. The company further promised to remove all artificial colors and flavors from the majority of its North American products by July 2018.

Pro-GMO-labeling groups like Just Label It and the Environmental Working Group (EWG) have applauded the move by the soup giant, with Scott Faber, senior vice-president of government affairs at EWG saying, “We applaud Campbell’s for supporting national, mandatory GMO labeling.”

EWG has in recent days launched a petition to thank Campbell’s for their move, stating: “This is a major victory for Americans’ right to know what’s in our food. Please take a minute to join EWG and Just Label It in thanking Campbell’s for doing the right thing!”

According to Just Label It, the move by Campbell Soup Co is a step closer to reaching the goal of a national, federally sanctioned GMO labeling solution.

[Photo via Flickr by Mike Mozart/CC BY 2.0]

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