General Mills has announced that it will begin labeling foods with genetically modified ingredients ahead of Vermont's landmark law.
A growing movement has been calling for food producers to label products that include genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, as ingredients for quite some time now. According to a report from the Washington Post, major food producer General Mills announced on Friday that it would begin labeling products sold nationwide containing GMOs ahead of a recently passed law in Vermont.
Vermont’s labeling law is one of the first in the country, and General Mills is getting out ahead of the curve by including GMO labels on all of its products. Vermont will require all products with GMO ingredients to be labeled beginning this July.
The fight surrounding GMO labels has made it all the way to the halls of Congress, but any hope at national legislation has stalled. Food companies have lobbied to make GMO labeling voluntary, and hope to fend off a growing network of states that have already passed laws requiring labels for such ingredients.
According to the Grocery Manufacturers Association, representing some of the country’s biggest food producers, the General Mills decision could be the much-needed push toward a national GMO labeling law. “One small state’s law is setting labeling standards for consumers across the country,” the group said.
Support for GMO labeling has been growing in recent years, with Campbell Soup Company coming out in support of a national law that would require GMO labels on food products. General Mills has not supported mandatory labeling, but discloses GMO information about its products on its website.
Some of the most common genetically modified ingredients found in food products around the country include corn and soybeans. They are generally engineered to resist herbicides, which has raised concern among environmentalists and health advocates who believe less is more. Products in Europe contain labels for genetically modified ingredients, but in the U.S. it remains unclear to a large degree which products contain GMOs.
The US FDA says that GMO ingredients on the market today are safe to consume, but opponents call for more rigorous study on the health effects of consuming such products.
A blog post from General Mills discussing the recent decision to begin labeling GMOs can be found here.