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General Mills will begin voluntarily labeling its genetically modified ingredients nationwide, chief operating officer Jeff Harmening has announced.
Harmening, who called on U.S. leaders to resolve the debate on GMO labeling once and for all, explained that, in the meantime, General Mills would preemptively label its genetically engineered ingredients across all states. Specifically, the impending institution of Vermont’s state level GMO labeling law, which will go into effect July 1, was a key factor in the decision to go national.
“We can’t label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers and we simply will not do that,” Harmening said in a blog post on Friday, March 18. “The result: consumers all over the U.S. will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills products.”
Though General Mills does not consider GMOs a health concern, Harmening nonetheless acknowledged that “some consumers are interested in knowing which products contain GMO ingredients.”
In fact, polls have shown that 9 out of 10 Americans approve of GMO labeling, regardless of their political affiliation. Recently, the U.S. Senate struck down an anti GMO-labeling bill known as the DARK Act that would have left GMO labeling to individual states to decide.
General Mills’ decision to take labeling nationwide was applauded the Environmental Working Group, a pro-labeling coalition. “Like General Mills, we hope Congress will craft a national, mandatory GMO labeling solution and welcome the opportunity to work with industry to find a solution that works for consumers and works for the food industry,” EWG said in a statement.