Campbell Soup has taken a stand in the fray over food labeling, saying it will disclose its ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
The maker of brands such as Pepperidge Farm, V8 and Prego said it will advocate for federal legislation that would standardize GMO labeling rules for all food and beverage manufacturers operating in the USA, deviating from its competitors who are fighting such efforts and seeking to circumvent states’ actions to enact their own laws.
Some federal and state lawmakers have sought legislation that would mandate foodmakers to disclose ingredients — such as corn and soybeans — whose DNA was artificially altered by including genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. In 2013, Vermont became the first state to pass a bill that would require foodmakers to label GMO ingredients. Gov. Peter Shumlin, whose signature is required, has declared his support of the bill, which will go into effect this year.
Proponents of GMO-labeling laws, such as the Vermont Right to Know GMOs Coalition, said foods using GMO ingredients are not adequately tested for toxins, allergens or other substances that aren’t suitable for human consumption.
“Campbell is optimistic a federal solution can be established in a reasonable amount of time if all the interested stakeholders cooperate,” it said. “However, if that is not the case, Campbell is prepared to label all of its U.S. products for the presence of ingredients that were derived from GMOs, not just those required by pending legislation in Vermont.”
Campbell said it will withdraw from all efforts led by coalitions and groups opposing measures on GMO labeling. The Camden, N.J.-based company will continue to oppose state-by-state labeling laws, calling them “incomplete” and “impractical.” They “create unnecessary confusion for consumers,” Campbell said.
The company also said it considers GMO ingredients safe.
“Campbell continues to recognize that GMOs are safe, as the science indicates that foods derived from crops grown using genetically modified seeds are not nutritionally different from other foods,” it said.