Christopher Doering reported on the front page of the business section in yesterday’s Des Moines Register that, “More food companies are voluntarily disclosing if their products contain genetically modified ingredients, the latest sign that consumer groups may be gaining ground in their campaign to get a nationwide mandatory label.
“In just the past few weeks, candy-maker Mars, General Mills, Kellogg and ConAgra all announced they would be voluntarily labeling their products. They joined Campbell Soup, which became the first major food company to disclose the presence of genetically engineered organisms in January.
“Food executives say they have no choice but to include the ingredients on labels, citing growing pressure from consumers to know what’s in their food, a failure by Congress to adopt a nationwide standard, and the fact that Vermont on July 1 becomes the first state to require labeling.”
Mr. Doering explained that, “Companies that overhaul their label now, rather than wait, not only benefit by earning the trust of their customers, but they can potentially have a larger influence over how future state labels will look, food companies said.”
The Register article added that, “Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he was not optimistic Congress could reach a deal before Vermont’s law takes effect this summer.”
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has also recently expressed his views on the labeling issue, and Politico’s Morning Agriculture indicated today that, “After the failed effort to limit debate on Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts’ voluntary GMO labeling bill last month, the Kansas Republican and other supporters vowed to try again when they returned from the two-week spring break. Now that they’re back, can middle ground be found to lure enough farm-state Democrats and states’-rights Republicans to vote for the bill? Talks on how to move forward could start this week, especially given that there are fewer than 90 days before Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law takes effect.”