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NATIONAL REPORT — Numerous convenience store suppliers are taking steps to become more transparent by labeling their products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Several of these companies cited the passage of a Vermont labeling standard that requires on-pack labeling of GMO ingredients. The new standard goes into effect in July.
"We can't label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers, and we simply will not do that," stated Jeff Harmening, chief operating officer for General Mills. "The result: consumers all over the U.S. will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills products. With the Vermont labeling legislation upon us, and with the distinct possibility that other states will enact different labeling requirements, what we need is simple: We need a national solution."
General Mills now offers a search tool on its website that provides GMO ingredient information for hundreds of products for sale in the United States, as well as reference information.
Mars Co. also plans to label its products that contain GMOs, which the company stated is in line with its commitment to being transparent and helping consumers understand what is in the products they love.
"In 2014, the state of Vermont passed a mandatory genetically modified (GM) ingredient labeling law that requires most human food products containing GM ingredients to include on-pack labeling as of July 2016," Mars stated in a posting on its website. "To comply with that law, Mars is introducing clear, on-pack labeling on our products that contain GM ingredients nationwide."
Campbell Soup Co. previously announced plans to label all of its U.S. products that contain GMOs. The company in its January announcement also stated that it would withdraw from all efforts by groups that oppose a single mandatory labeling standard for GMO-derived foods and a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging, according to Reuters.
GMOs are living organisms whose genetic material has been artificially manipulated in a laboratory through genetic engineering.