Campbell Company announced their support for GMO labeling, federal legislation for a single mandatory labeling standard for both GMO-free and GMO-containing foods, in a press release dated January 7, 2016.
Campbell wants us to view them in a particular light. This one:
Campbell (NYSE:CPB) is driven and inspired by our Purpose, “Real food that matters for life’s moments.” The company makes a range of high-quality soups and simple meals, beverages, snacks and packaged fresh foods. For generations, people have trusted Campbell to provide authentic, flavorful and readily available foods and beverages that connect them to each other, to warm memories, and to what’s important today. Led by its iconic Campbell’s brand, the company’s portfolio includes Pepperidge Farm, Bolthouse Farms, Arnott’s, V8, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Plum, Royal Dansk, Kjeldsens and Garden Fresh Gourmet. Founded in 1869, Campbell has a heritage of giving back and acting as a good steward of the planet’s natural resources…” – BusinessWire news release.
Campbell states that their earlier opposition (to the tune of $982,888.00) was an effort to defeat fragmented state-by-state labeling laws, not consumers’ right to know what is in their food.
Why One Federally Mandated Label Law?
The reality is that state-by-state laws could be a major problem and expense for Campbell or for any manufacturer.
All the fuss about higher costs to the consumer if GMOs were labeled is a smokescreen, an excuse to keep the consumer in the dark about what they are eating. But if a manufacturer had to label a product 50 different ways and ensure shipments were sent to the right state with the right label, then we are talking about a major expense.
If standards were set in place and all manufacturers had to alter their labels once, this change makes sense. Keep in mind, some of the manufacturers who are complaining about this possibility already have different labels for their European markets and/or different formulas for their products that meet European standards.
Campbell’s President and CEO, Denise Morrison, makes a good point regarding state laws when she uses Vermont as an example. The new law in Vermont only pertains to products regulated by the FDA, not the USDA. Their original variety SpaghettiO’s falls under the FDA regulations and therefore requires a GMO label. Their SpaghettiO’s meatballs does not. Due to the fact that it contains meat, it is regulated by the USDA and is therefore not bound by Vermont’s new law. These products sit side by side on many grocery shelves. Both contain GMOs, but only one is labeled.
Our Right To Know
Campbell wants to be sure we understand that they still support GMO technology.
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. The company also believes technology will play a crucial role in feeding the world.” – BusinessWire news release.
They are conceding to our right to know because 92% of Americans support GMO labeling.
There you have it. They are now pushing for labeling, not because it is the right thing to do, not because it is logical, moral, and just. Not to protect our health. They are backing labeling because of overwhelming pressure from consumers, consumers whose well-justified fears the company continues to discount.
The best news is that they state they will go ahead with new labels even if a federal solution is not reached in a timely manner.
Other Changes by Campbell
Campbell has also removed artificial flavors, coloring, and preservatives as well as “additional added” MSG for its condensed soups for kids and the company plans to remove
…artificial colors and flavors from nearly all of its North American products by the end of fiscal 2018. Additionally, Campbell plans to move away from using high fructose corn syrup in certain products, including the complete line of Pepperidge Farm fresh breads by the end of fiscal 2017, as well as most new products launching in fiscal 2016 in its Americas Simple Meals and Beverages portfolio.” – Campbell Website Press
Why not all products? Why not now? Why not remove all MSG because is has been proven dangerous?
Is it not condescending and self-serving to say they are taking out these ingredients from kid’s soups so the recipes are simplified for parents rather than admitting parents are right in choosing non-toxic products for their children?
We want to applaud every decision they have made to remove toxic ingredients from their products and to label those that remain. But we can’t help feeling it’s a little bit late. We wish Campbell and other giant food companies would stand up for clean, healthy food. Not for the sake of profits. Not to fit in a niche. Because it is the right thing to do!
The real takeaway from this story is the power of public opinion and a reminder that we do vote with our dollars. Every time we buy a product with artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, MSG, HFCS, trans fats, or GMOs we are supporting the use of these products in processed foods. We are voting FOR toxic food. Every time we purchase whole, fresh, organic, foods, we are voting AGAINST toxic foods. Let’s applaud the 92% of Americans who want to know what they are eating for this victory and keep up the momentum.
- Understanding and Detoxifying Genetically Modified Foods
- MSG’s Many Side Effects and Aliases
- Gluten, Candida, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Autoimmune Diseases
- Corruption and Pork – Agricultural Boards Behaving Badly
- Campbell Announces Support for Mandatory GMO Labeling – BusinessWire
- Who are the companies fighting our right to know? – Just Label It!
- Campbell Continues To Shift Portfolio Toward Faster-Growing Categories and Regions – Campbell Website News
- Why We Support Mandatory National GMO Labeling – Campbell Website News