When it comes to our health there is almost more important than to stay up to date with current happenings. What bothers me is that no one cares that what we call food these days isn’t really food at all. It’s well, something. It’s truly something but “real” food it’s not and we keep on ingesting this stuff. Now I understand vegetarians and vegans.
By Victor Ochieng
General Mills made a Friday announcement that it’ll start labeling all its United States products containing genetically modified ingredients. The American food manufacturer’s move is in response to a new Vermont state law that demands all companies whose products have genetically modified organisms to label them. The law is expected to take effect as soon as July 1, 2016.
Although the new policy is only targeting the state, General Mills said doing so for only one state can’t happen without a rise in cost. The company will, as a result, put the labels for all its products across the nation, said the company’s Vice President Jeff Harmening.
The vice president, however, added that a national solution is necessary to handle the issue of genetically modified ingredients in foods.
“All sides of this debate, 20 years of research, and every major health and safety agency in the world agree that GMOs are not a health or safety concern,” said Harmening. “At the same time, we know that some consumers are interested in knowing which products contain GMO ingredients.”
The U.S. Senate recently rejected a bill that could’ve nullified state level efforts that require product manufacturers to label their genetically modified products. If the bill had passed, manufacturers would’ve been given the choice to refuse to label GMO products if they wanted to.
According to another General Mills spokesperson, the company’s move doesn’t mean it’s withdrawing its efforts for a national standard for GMO labeling.
“We have essentially run out of time,” said Mary Lynn Carver. “We have no other choice. Our supply system doesn’t work state-by-state.”
The company has also modified its website to include a search tool that will allow users to access GMO ingredient information for the company’s U.S. products.
General Mills, which is the maker of Cheerios cereal, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Nature Valley granola bars, and more, will have the labels reach grocery stores over the next couple of weeks.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, a food industry companies’ representative and a lobbyist against food labeling, has sent a strong word to Senate to get down to work and handle the issue decisively.
“One small state’s law is setting labeling standards for consumers across the country,” the association said. “This announcement should give new urgency to the need for action on a national law when the Senate returns from its recess in April.”
With the clock ticking, some other companies have also responded to the new to be implemented requirement. Companies like Campbell Group Co. Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., and Whole Foods Market Inc. have either abandoned GMO ingredients or have started requiring labeling.