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Kellogg unveils nationwide GMO labeling plan: 'A special label for Vermont would be costly for us and our consumers'

Kellogg joins Mars, Gen Mills, Campbell Soup in GMO labeling drive

Kellogg has joined CPG giants Mars, General Mills, and Campbell Soup in opting to roll out GMO labeling nationwide in order to comply with a GMO labeling law that comes into force in Vermont in July.

In a statement sent to FoodNavigator-USA, Paul Norman, president, Kellogg North America, said: "Until a federal solution is reached, and in order to comply with Vermont’s labeling law, some of our product labels nationwide will include the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering” beginning in mid-to-late April. These will appear nationwide because a special label for Vermont would be costly for us and our consumers."

He added: "Transparency is more than just a label, and we have invested in many ways to make it easy for consumers to find information about our food. Most recently, we launched OpenForBreakfast where consumers can ask questions about our food -- including whether a particular product contains GMO ingredients.

"At Kellogg, we strongly believe in transparency, and that people should know what’s in their food and where it comes from. We continue to strongly urge Congress to pass a uniform, federal solution for the labeling of GMOs to avoid a confusing patchwork of state-by-state rules."

GMA: Senate must act when it returns from recess

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), however, said members were stuck inbetween a rock and a hard place: 

GMA member companies such as General Mills are individually deciding how they will comply with the Vermont law, even as the company is working with other food manufacturers, retailers and agriculture groups to continue to push for passage of the federal bill that would protect consumers, farmers and small businesses from a costly patchwork of state labeling laws.

"This announcement should give new urgency to the need for action on a national law when the Senate returns from its recess in April.”

CFSAF: What if other states adopt different rules to Vermont?

Industry-backed group The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food (CFSAF), meanwhile, raised concerns about the legal issues that could arise if other states adopt rules that differ from those in Vermont's law, which comes into force on July 1.

“What remains to be seen... is what happens if other states reject these labels as inaccurate or misleading or implement laws requiring slightly different labeling language. This is where the situation becomes untenable and consumers pay the price."

Read some legal reaction to the move HERE.

Read the text of the Vermont GMO labeling law HERE.

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Comments (1)

Ruth - 22 Mar 2016 | 07:23

An empty pantry?

What would happen if only a few companies complied with the VT law? It would be an interesting experiment to see what VT grocery stores, club stores, and convenience stores would look like if only non-GMO products (no need for label change) were sold. If the people of VT found themselves with a sore selection because food manufacturers had neither the $ nor printing time available to change packaging (already a back-up with potential added sugar label changes), maybe practicality would prevail.

22-Mar-2016 at 19:23 GMT

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