Minneapolis, MN — General Mills will become the second major United States food manufacturer to disclose GMOs in its products, since Campbell Soup took the initiative in January. This decision appears to be more practical than passionate.
“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,” explained Jeff Harmening, executive vice president and COO of U.S. Retail at General Mills in a press release. “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.”
Following the failure of legislation attempting to establish a national standard for voluntary disclosure that would override Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law, which takes effect in July of this year, General Mills apparently intends to get ahead of the controversy. In his press release, Harmening expressed disappointment that Washington failed to establish a national standard and while standing behind the safety of GMOs, conceded that consumers want transparency.
This move may be easier for General Mills than others, as the company is in possession of several organic brands, including Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, Muir Glen and LÄRABAR. This makes General Mills the third largest producer of natural and organic foods in the country.
“The dominos are falling and Big Food is finally coming to terms with reality,” said Max Goldberg, organic food and juice blogger, on his website. “General Mills, with its $820M acquisition of Annie’s and its commitment to double its organic farmland to 250,000 acres by 2019, is clearly seeing…that organic is the future and consumers want to be told what is in their food.”
Published in WholeFoods Magazine Online 3/21/2016