Organic food producers and environmental organizations have a persuasive request for President Obama: Require labeling for GMO foods.
As voter-led initiatives ramp up nationwide, some of the country’s largest environmental organizations and most popular organic brands are leading their own campaign to urge federal labeling of foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMO).
More than 200 of the country’s largest and smallest voices in the environmental movement have penned a letter calling on the federal government to require labeling of GMO foods. Food manufacturers like Amy’s Kitchen, Ben & Jerry’s and Eden Foods have been joined by environmental farming, research and advocacy groups that include As You Sow, Oregon Tilth, Sierra Club and Center for Environmental Health in this latest call for federal oversight.
And the move isn’t limited to those focused on organic food production or specific ecological research and advocacy. Some of the world’s largest food producers, including General Mills, Blue Diamond and Coca-Cola, have already made their feelings known regarding GMO labeling.
In a blog post last year, General Mills explained that it had nothing against labeling regulation, it just didn’t feel states should be administering that oversight.
"The lack of a national standard complicates the matter for businesses that may wish to produce non-GM foods, and a patchwork of differing state standards would only confuse consumers wishing to buy them," said General Mills.
That’s apparently why it’s part of its own 300-strong consortium that is pushing for federal regulation of GMO labeling.
So while states struggle with the daunting prospect of regulating a multi-billion dollar group of companies that may have the financial clout to tie them up in court for decades, consumers, companies and NGOs are stealthily working out the process themselves.
With consumer pressure mounting on this issue, some of the largest cereal companies have already realized that the easiest path is to create a selection of non-GMO ‘niche’ products, like regular Cheerios and Grape Nuts … while they wait for President Obama to see the mounting title wave of calls for federal regulation.
Oregon Tilth: Ecotrust
Amy's Kitchen: TheImpulsiveBuy
Jan Lee is a former news editor and award-winning editorial writer whose non-fiction and fiction have been published in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the U.K. and Australia. Her articles and posts can be found on TriplePundit, JustMeans, and her blog, The Multicultural Jew, as well as other publications. She currently splits her residence between the city of Vancouver, British Columbia and the rural farmlands of Idaho.