General Mills announced today, March 18, it will begin voluntarily labeling its products across the U,S, that contain genetically modified organism (GMO) ingredients.
With Vermont's GMO labeling law set to go in effect this July, the company says it will make this change all over the country, as labeling products for just one state would raise costs for consumers, according to a press release from Jeff Harmening, an executive vice president and chief operating officer, for U.S. Retail at General Mills, Minneapolis.
"As the discussions continue in Washington, one thing is very clear: Vermont state law requires us to start labeling certain grocery store food packages that contain GMO ingredients or face significant fines," Harmening says, referring to yesterday's news regarding the Senate's failure to move forward Sen. Pat Roberts' bill that would have set voluntary standards for labeling foods with GMOs, and which would also have barred states from setting their own rules. With the Vermont labeling legislation, and the distinct possibility that other states will enact different labeling requirements, Harmening says a national solution is needed.
"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," he added. "At the same time, we know that some consumers are interested in knowing which products contain GMO ingredients."
Thus, General Mills has added a search tool on its website, ask.generalmills.com to provide GMO ingredient information for hundreds of its U.S. products, along with reference information.