The list seems to grow daily. The multinational ConAgra now joins General Mills, Mars, and Kellogg’s as a company which will label its products if they contain genetically modified ingredients. With Vermont’s mandatory GM labeling bill going into effect this summer, this is a decision more companies will have to make, and soon.
This list of new companies willing to label is starting to look like a Who’s Who of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, the lobbying group recently found guilty of fraud and money laundering in order to prevent the very labels they are now being gently forced to put on their products.
ConAgra, the face behind brands like Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Hunt’s, Orville Redenbacher’s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip and Snack Pack, tweeted this news a few days ago.
Surveys have repeatedly revealed that more than 90 percent of Americans want genetically modified (GM) foods labeled, but until days ago Big Food was paying millions to try to keep Americans from even knowing when they were eating genetically modified organisms, known for contributing to a host of health concerns.
When the company starts to label its foods as genetically modified, will consumers forgive the company for past misdeeds, or is it too late? The brand is tarnished in the minds of many consumers, along with other Big Food companies, like Kellogg’s’ Kashi, which tried to push GM foods on the public while calling the products ‘natural.’ But Kashi’s products are not natural.
Now ConAgra says it is “too complex and expensive to create a separate distribution network for the 626,000 residents of Vermont,” but truthfully, these companies can label as easily and cheaply as they put any other labels on their food – for instance proclaiming a food is ‘new and improved,’ or ‘all natural.’
Just Label It argues that putting a “made with genetically modified ingredients” label on foods shouldn’t raise food prices for consumers. In stark contrast to companies like ConAgra, Kellogg’s, Mars, and General Mills who are just now getting on the labeling bandwagon, there are over 400 companies that have actively supported GMO labeling and increased transparency in the food system.
Featured image sourced and modified from: CNBC
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.