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Mondelez switches Triscuit to Non-GMO Verified

August 12th, 2017
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Confectionery, food, and beverage firm Mondelez International is switching its Triscuit cracker brand to the Non-GMO Verified certification in the US.

The company said consumer demand had prompted the move, citing data from market researchers The Hartman Group from this year, which demonstrated that more than half of Americans are looking for non-GMO food and beverages.

Mondelez has co-operated with US non-profit the Non-GMO Project, which provides the certification for companies looking to make the switch.

The company worked to source oil and seasonings that meet the certification.

Triscuit North America brand manager Kailey Clark said: “The Triscuit brand has evolved throughout its 100-plus-year history by delivering what consumers want, whether that’s new flavors; quick, everyday recipe solutions; or now, Non-GMO Project Verified snacking options.”

Clark further added: “The Non-GMO Project Verified seal is the gold standard. It is the most trusted label among consumers, and we are proud to offer that level of product transparency to Triscuit customers.”

Triscuit Cracker boxes bearing the seal started rolling out to retailers nationwide in late July, with the full product line expected to follow by the end of next month.

Non-GMO Project associate director Courtney Pineau said: “We are thrilled Triscuit Crackers has converted its entire portfolio to be made with Non-GMO Project Verified ingredients.

“As an organization, we believe that consumers have a right to know what is in their food and have access to non-GMO choices.”

Source: food-business-review.com

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DuPont highlights bakery portfolio

October 15th, 2016
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DuPont Nutrition & Health is highlighting what it says is the depth and breadth of its bakery ingredient portfolio, focusing on clean label ingredient strategies, shelf life extension and non-PHO solutions.

DuPont Nutrition & Health is highlighting what it says is the depth and breadth of its bakery ingredient portfolio, focusing on clean label ingredient strategies, shelf life extension and non-PHO solutions.

Among those products are the DuPont Danisco non-GMO, Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certified, sustainable emulsifiers from a Mass Balance or segregated source, including non-GMO sunflower, non-GMO rapeseed and GMO canola.

“Demand for clean labelling is greatly influencing bakery product development today,” said Janelle Crawford, strategic marketing lead, Bakery. “There’s a growing awareness and interest in cleaner food and cleaner eating from consumers; yet at the same time, consumers are not willing to sacrifice taste or value.”

DuPont consumer research exploring clean label attitudes found nearly half of consumers agreeing that “contains no chemicals or artificial ingredients” was a “very important” consideration when deciding what brands to purchase. In the same survey, “ingredient lists contain only recognizable ingredients” was “very important” to 46% of the sample.

Comparatively, taste was a “very important consideration” for a significantly higher portion of the sample . “Retrofitting an ingredient statement on a product to tackle clean label concerns can be challenging, and altering a well-established product may not be the route to take when looking to market a clean label product,”

Crawford said. “Having a strategic, prioritized approach to address clean label concerns, while maintaining quality and taste throughout product shelf life is critical.”

Source:  ingredientsnetwork.com

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Cargill Offers First Non-GMO Project Verified Ingredients

October 12th, 2016
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Cargill, a traditionally vehement supporter of genetically modified crops, is to sell its first food ingredients which have been verified that they do not contain genetically modified organisms. One of the world’s biggest food suppliers has made the move amid a landscape in which foodmakers and the public are wanting Cargill and other suppliers to provide GMO-free ingredients.

Cargill said that for the first time it has received verification from the voluntary labeling organization, the Non-GMO Project, for three of its food ingredients.

The three ingredients carrying the non-GMO seal of approval are cane sugar, high oleic sunflower oil and erythritol, a sweetener made from corn.

The number of US new products launches tracked with a GMO-free claim is entering a new stage, as major companies reveal plans to label their use of genetically modified ingredients, according to Innova Market Insights data.

An analysis of global mainstream new product launches [excluding supplements, sports nutrition, clinical nutrition, oral care and pet food] featuring a GMO-free claim grew from 1% of launches in 2010 to 5% in 2015. But when looking specifically at the US market, launch numbers are even more dramatic, rising from 1% in 2010 to 14% in 2015.

“Consumer demand for non-GMO food and beverages is growing, and Cargill is responding,” says Mike Wagner, Managing Director for Cargill’s starches and sweeteners North America division.

“We’re delighted to work with the Non-GMO Project, the leading verifier of non-GMO products in the United States. Their distinctive trademark is the most recognized symbol for non-GMO products in the country.”

Cargill, which supplies ingredients for the likes of General Mills and Kraft Heinz, has over the years supplied ingredients for thousands of products that have been genetically altered, such as corn and soybeans.

However, US consumer buying habits are changing. Consumer awareness of GMO products has grown in recent years, as consumers are becoming more demanding about the provenance of the ingredients they eat.

Some are wanting “clean label” foods, which can include a non-GMO verification.

It said that it would likely sell more products, verified as non-GMO, in the future.

Cargill said: “Cargill’s commitment to verification of these ingredients, and others expected in the future, should have significant impact on the available non-GMO verified ingredient supply for consumer packaged goods, and increase the acreage dedicated to non-GMO agriculture in North America.”

Sales of Non-GMO Project verified products increased from $348.8m in 2010 to more than $19bn in March 2016.

According to Packaged Facts, demand for non-GMO products is expected to grow 12 percent annually through 2018.

Martin Westgate, Executive Director and Founder of the Non-GMO Project, said that inking a deal with Cargill would increase the availability of non-GMO foods to consumers.

He said: “The Non-GMO Project’s mission is to preserve and build sources of non-GMO products, educate consumers, and provide verified non-GMO choices.”

“Achieving this mission requires participation by companies of all sizes, including supply-chain leaders like Cargill that can provide large-scale availability of non-GMO food ingredients.”

“We hope that Non-GMO Project Verification for these three Cargill products, and likely more to come, will continue to expand the availability of non-GMO foods for the millions of consumers who seek them.”

The US federal government passed a law earlier this year stipulating that food companies must label their products which contain GMOs.

The Cargill high oleic sunflower oils receiving Non-GMO Project Verification include:
•    Clear Valley High Oleic Sunflower Oil
•    Clear Valley Expeller Pressed High Oleic Sunflower Oil
•    IngreVita High Oleic Sunflower Oil

Cargill selected NSF International to be Technical Administrator for Cargill’s Non-GMO Verified ingredients. NSF International is a global independent organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences, and consumer goods industries.

Source:  foodingredientsfirst.com

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GMO: will consumers use QR codes?

August 15th, 2016
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Four in 10 Americans say that it is either somewhat or very likely that they would use their mobile phones or in-store scanners to learn whether a product contained GM ingredients, according to a new Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey.

A new US law allows food producers to use digital codes to inform consumers that food contains genetically modified (GM) ingredients. But, asked the Annenberg Public Policy Center: will consumers use smartphones or in-store readers to scan those Quick Response (QR) codes?

Four in 10 Americans say that it is either somewhat or very likely that they would use their mobile phones or in-store scanners to learn whether a product contained GM ingredients, according to a new Annenberg Science Knowledge (ASK) survey by the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) of the University of Pennsylvania and the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers University.

But 21% say that it is not too likely that they would do so and 38% say that it is not likely at all, the survey found.GM foods have been on the market in the United States for 20 years, the centre notes, but the legislation approved by Congress on July 14 requires, for the first time, that food products in the United States containing genetically modified ingredients carry identifying labels.

The bill calls for the use of on-package text, a symbol designed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), or an electronic or digital link such as a QR code, which when scanned or read by a smartphone or an in-store reader would connect consumers to a website with more information.“The question is whether consumers will use QR codes to find out whether food products on store shelves have GM ingredients,” said William K. Hallman, a 2016-2017 visiting scholar at APPC and professor in the Department of Human Ecology at Rutgers.

29% of Americans report that they have already used their mobile phones or a store scanner to scan UPC or QR codes to find the price of a product, or to check out at a store in the past 12 months, and 15% say they have used these codes to find information about a product’s ingredients or nutrition information during the same period, the survey found.Women and those who say they have scanned UPC or QR codes in the last year were more likely to say they would scan these codes to see if the product contains GM ingredients, Hallman said.

Nearly half of Americans say that they would be much less likely (31%) or somewhat less likely (18%) to purchase a food product if they learned that it contained genetically modified ingredients. About 4 in 10 (42%) say that it would make no difference in their intentions to buy that product, and 6% say that learning that a food product is genetically modified would make them more likely to purchase it.

Those who say they are less likely to purchase foods if they contain GM ingredients also say they are more likely to scan UPC or QR codes to find out if products contain those ingredients. “Because of this, it is likely that some food manufacturers will eliminate GM ingredients from their products,” Hallman said.In the ASK survey, a third of Americans (34%) said that they had eaten some or a great deal of genetically modified food in the past week, a third (34%) said they had consumed not much or none at all, and a third (32%) said that they did not know.

In fact, the USDA has said that in 2014, U.S. farmers planted genetically engineered (GE) crops in “over 90% of corn, soybean, cotton, canola, and sugar beet acreage,” producing ingredients common in processed foods.“Without mandatory labelling, consumers are unlikely to recognize that many of the food products they buy have genetically modified components,” Hallman said.

The survey found that 28% of respondents thought that the labelling of GM foods was already mandated by law while 54% were unsure whether such labelling is required. Only 18% knew that the labelling of genetically modified foods was not mandatory prior to passage of the new law.Informed that Congress had recently passed a bill that would require the labelling of genetically modified foods, the majority of Americans (81%) said they approve of the requirement.

Source:  ingredientsnetwork.com

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South Korea rejects Argentina feed wheat after GMO strain found

August 6th, 2016
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wheat_1South Korea rejected a shipment of Argentine feed wheat after finding unapproved strains of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the cargo, the agriculture ministry said on Tuesday.

Seoul bans the entry of unapproved GMOs, defined as living modified organisms (LMO) under bio safety regulations.

In 2013, South Korean millers suspended imports of U.S. wheat after the discovery of an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat in the United States.

“After testing 72,450 tonnes of feed wheat cargoes imported from Argentina on July 12, an unapproved strain of LMO was detected and we asked to discard or send all back,” the ministry said in a statement.

The cargo was shipped by the bulk carrier ANTONIS, said an official at the Korean Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency.

The cargo was loaded at Argentina’s San Lorenzo and Bahia Blanca ports in May and shipped by Netherlands-based commodity trader Nidera, according to data from NABSA shipping agency.

Nidera could not be reached immediately for comment.

Thomson Reuters ship tracking data showed the vessel is heading to Australia’s Gladstone port after discharging at South Korea’s Pyeongtaek and Kunsan ports.

The ministry said it would continue with LMO tests of imported agricultural products.

In Buenos Aires, a grains export company executive said there is no GMO wheat cultivated in Argentina.

“So it must have been something left in the hold of the ship from a previous cargo,” said the executive, who asked not to be identified.

South Korea is not banning imports of feed wheat from Argentina, only the shipment containing the unapproved strain, a ministry official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters.

Feed importer Nonghyup Feed Inc said it is looking into the situation after the government’s decision, while the Korea Feed Association could not be reached for comment.

Korea, Asia’s fourth-largest economy, mostly imports feed wheat from Australia, India, Ukraine and Canada. It imported 396,900 tonnes of Argentine feed wheat in June out of total imports of 910,946 tonnes, according to the statement.

Ample Argentine wheat supplies and the low grain quality have pressured prices and boosted feed wheat shipments to Asia. Argentine farmers liquidated their wheat stockpiles after free-market proponent Mauricio Macri won the presidency last November and eliminated grain export taxes.

“When you analyze the destinations that Argentine feed wheat is being shipped to, there has been a radical shift toward Asia,” said Leandro Pierbattisti, chief analyst with Argentina’s grains warehousing chamber.

Source: Reuters

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Dannon Joins the GMO Labeling Effort

July 23rd, 2016
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Dannon said it is joining an effort in the U.S. to label food products made with genetically modified organisms.

The U.S. unit of French dairy giant Danone SA unveiled yogurts under the Dannon and Oikos brands featuring non-GMO ingredients.

The company said the move marks the start of a transformation of its three main U.S. yogurt brands—Dannon, Oikos and Danimals. Its products also include Activia and DanActive.

As part of the plan, Dannon also will aim to ensure that milk for its flagship brands will be sourced from cows fed with non-GMO feed. The effort, set to span next year, is expected to include feed suppliers and farmers and involve the conversion of roughly 80,000 acres of farmland for non-GMO crops.

A company spokeswoman said its Dannon, Oikos, and Danimals brands would carry the GMO labels within several months.

When asked about what prompted the shift, Mariano Lozano, CEO of Dannon U.S., said “We believe it’s the right thing to do because consumer preferences are continuing to evolve and we put consumers at the center of every decision we make.”

The move comes as consumer preferences have moved toward foods that are perceived as being healthier.

Dannon and WhiteWave

The U.S. subsidiary of the French dairy behemoth Danone SA also received a major boost from the parent company with the $10.4 billion cash purchase of WhiteWave, which significantly raised the company’s US market share and it’s credability.

While farm associations and food and beverage companies have praised the legislation, environmental groups and other critics have argued it doesn’t go far enough.

GMOs include crops whose genes have been engineered to make them resistant to pests, able to withstand herbicides, and otherwise hardier. Federal regulators have approved the GMO seeds on the market. Critics say they can hurt the environment and rely on herbicides that could harm consumers.

Source: Abasto

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U.S. GMO food labeling bill passes Senate

July 16th, 2016
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The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved legislation that would for the first time require food to carry labels listing genetically-modified ingredients, which labeling supporters say could create loopholes for some U.S. crops.

The Senate voted 63-30 for the bill that would display GMO contents with words, pictures or a bar code that can be scanned with smartphones. The U.S. Agriculture Department (USDA) would decide which ingredients would be considered genetically modified.

The measure now goes to the House of Representatives, where it is expected to pass.

Drawing praise from farmers, the bill sponsored by Republican Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas and Democrat Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan is the latest attempt to introduce a national standard that would override state laws, including Vermont’s that some say is more stringent, and comes amid growing calls from consumers for greater transparency.

“This bipartisan bill ensures that consumers and families throughout the United States will have access, for the first time ever, to information about their food through a mandatory, nationwide label for food products with GMOs,” Stabenow said in a statement.

A nationwide standard is favored by the food industry, which says state-by-state differences could inflate costs for labeling and distribution. But mandatory GMO labeling of any kind would still be seen as a loss for Big Food, which has spent millions lobbying against it.

Farmers lobbied against the Vermont law, worrying that labeling stigmatizes GMO crops and could hurt demand for food containing those ingredients, but have applauded this law.

Critics like Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, say the bill’s vague language and allowance for electronic labels for scanning could limit its scope and create confusion.

“When parents go to the store and purchase food, they have the right to know what is in the food their kids are going to be eating,” Sanders said on the floor of the Senate ahead of the vote.

He said at a news conference this week that major food manufacturers have already begun labeling products with GMO ingredients to meet the new law in his home state.

Another opponent of the bill, Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, said it would institute weak federal requirements making it virtually impossible for consumers to access information about GMOs.

Loopholes

Food ingredients like beet sugar and soybean oil, which can be derived from genetically-engineered crops but contain next to no genetic material by the time they are processed, may not fall under the law’s definition of a bioengineered food, critics say.

GMO corn may also be excluded thanks to ambiguous language, some said.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised concerns about the involvement of the USDA in a list of worries sent in a June 27 memo to the Senate Agriculture Committee.

In a letter to Stabenow last week, the USDA’s general counsel tried to quell those worries, saying it would include commercially-grown GMO corn, soybeans, sugar and canola crops.

The vast majority of corn, soybeans and sugar crops in the United States are produced from genetically-engineered seeds. The domestic sugar market has been strained by rising demand for non-GMO ingredients like cane sugar.

The United States is the world’s largest market for foods made with genetically altered ingredients. Many popular processed foods are made with soybeans, corn and other biotech crops whose genetic traits have been manipulated, often to make them resistant to insects and pesticides.

“It’s fair to say that it’s not the ideal bill, but it is certainly the bill that can pass, which is the most important right now,” said American Soybean Association’s (ASA) director of policy communications Patrick Delaney.

The association was part of the Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, which lobbied for what labeling supporters termed the Deny Americans the Right to Know, or DARK Act, that would have made labeling voluntary. It was blocked by the Senate in March.

(Reporting by Chris Prentice in New York; Additional reporting by Karl Plume in Chicago, Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles and Kouichi Shirayanagi and Eric Beech in Washington; Editing by Marguerita Choy and Ed Davies)

Source: Reuters

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U.S. FDA no questions regarding Renaissance BioScience Corp.’s Non-GMO Acrylamide-Reducing Yeast

May 28th, 2016
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Renaissance BioScience Corp. announces U.S. FDA acceptance of GRAS notification for Non-GMO Acrylamide-Reducing Yeast

Renaissance BioScience Corp., a leading global yeast innovation company, is pleased to announce that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has “no questions” in regards to Renaissance’s Generally Regarded as Safe (GRAS) notice (GRAS Notice No. GRN 000604) for its non-GMO, acrylamide-reducing (AR) baker’s yeast strain.

“The acceptance of our acrylamide-reducing yeast as GRAS by the U.S. FDA is a significant step forward in the commercialization and marketing of the AR yeast for a wide variety of food and beverage sectors,” said Dr. John Husnik, CEO of Renaissance BioScience. “GRAS status provides further validation to food manufacturers worldwide to apply our innovative AR yeast to address the acrylamide problem that continues to be a concern in many foods and beverages. In foods that already contain yeast we believe our AR yeast can quickly and seamlessly replace the use of conventional baker’s yeast, with minimal or no change to the food production process, thereby reducing the amount of acrylamide in the final consumer product by up to 90%. For foods that do not traditionally contain yeast it is also possible to significantly reduce acrylamide levels using our AR yeast by making reasonable process alterations, as our laboratory results have shown.”

“With government reports concerning acrylamide being issued recently by the U.S. FDA, the EFSA, the U.K. FSA, Health Canada and the Japanese government, acrylamide reduction continues to be an important focus for health and food safety regulators, governments, and food and beverage manufacturers around the world ,” added Dr. Husnik.

Renaissance’s AR yeast now joins other mainstream ingredients, such as conventional baker’s yeast and other food and beverage yeasts, that have GRAS status. The company’s wholly owned subsidiary, Renaissance Ingredients Inc., is responsible for commercializing the AR yeast to the global food and beverage industry.

“Recognizing that food safety regulators have requested lowering acrylamide levels to As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA), Renaissance Ingredients Inc. is pleased to have completed another step in the process to make our AR yeast commercially available as a safe and effective new tool for food manufacturers to lower acrylamide levels,” commented Renaissance Ingredients Inc.’s President Dr. Matthew Dahabieh.  Renaissance Ingredients Inc. is currently in discussions with potential production partners to allow for large-scale commercial availability of AR yeast for food manufacturers.

Source: Asia Food Journal

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GMO Labeling Debate: Everything You Should Know As A Consumer

April 2nd, 2016
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Lawmakers are pushing for new legislation to be passed that would effectively prevent states from making mandatory for products with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) to be labeled.

For years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been telling the public that eating food that contain GMOs is safe, but it hasn’t stop many people to be wary of its potential risks to human health.

Scientists are worried that the herbicide used to spray on GMO crops could produce unwanted effects on people that will eat them. This led consumer groups to call on the government to place GMO labels on products made using the bioengineered ingredient.

In 2014, legislators in Vermont adopted a law that makes it mandatory for food products with genetically engineered organisms to be labeled before they can be sold in the state. The legislation is set to take effect this year on July 1.

With a little over four months left until the new law takes effect, food companies are scrambling to figure out how to place GMO labels on their products that are set to be sold to a state that has a fewer number of people than Brooklyn, or if they should just tell consumers in the country which of their products have GMO ingredients.

Various trade associations, such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and the Snack and Food Association (SFA), have sued the state of Vermont in federal court in order to block the new legislation.

The groups claim that the law forces them to take on “new speech requirements” as well as violates the U.S. Constitution by “regulating nationwide distribution and labeling practices that facilitate interstate commerce.”

The court, however, dismissed an injunction that would have prevented the GMO labeling law from being implemented in 2015. The Grocery Manufacturers Association immediately filed an appeal that is currently pending.

Meanwhile, some members of the United States Congress are trying to push a new bill through designed to block state-level laws that would mandate the labeling of GMO products in favor of voluntary labeling instead.

The bill was able to clear the Senate Agricultural Committee last week and could be called in for a Senate vote as early as next week.

Backers of this new legislation include prominent members of the food manufacturing industry such as DuPont, ConAgra, Walmart and Coca-Cola.

Sen. Jeff Merkley from Oregon, one of the supporters of the alternative bill, said that it would provide a solution that would benefit both food makers and consumers.

“There is a way to give consumers the information they are asking for without placing unfair or conflicting requirements on food producers,” Merkley told the Huffington Post.

“This legislation provides the common-sense pathway forward.”

Mondelez International, the maker of Oreo cookies, and Kraft Heinz expressed their support for voluntary GMO labeling. They said that placing mandatory labels on products could mislead customers instead, and that additional production and labeling costs could be passed on to the public.

Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the common herbicide for GMO crops known as glyphosate could potentially cause cancer in humans.

In February, the FDA said that it will begin screening food products available in the United States for traces of glyphosbate.

Source: techtimes.com

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General Mills Changes Policy on GMO Labeling

April 2nd, 2016
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American food manufacturer General Mills announced   that it will begin labeling all its products in that have genetically modified organisms as ingredients. The changes will hit grocery stores over the next several weeks. The move was prompted by a new state law in Vermont, which requires companies to put such information starting July 1.

However, the company cannot label products for only one state without driving up costs for consumers, said General Mills Vice President Jeff Harmening, so the company’s response is to put up labels nationwide.

Still, Harmening said one thing is needed to tackle the issue of genetically modified food is a national solution.

“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 Senate recently blocked a bill that would invalidate state and local efforts that require manufacturers to label products with genetically modified organisms. The bill would have given food makers the choice to disclose GMO ingredients.

Another spokesperson for General Mills said the company’s move does not indicate that it is backing away from its call for a national standard on GMO labeling.

The company has added a search tool on its website, which will provide GMO ingredient information for its United States products.

Other Companies Follow General Mills

Incidentally, General Mills is the maker of products including Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Nature Valley granola bars, Cheerios cereal, and many others. The labels will hit grocery stores over the next several weeks.

Other companies such as Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., Whole Foods Market Inc., and Campbell Soup Co. have started requiring GMO labels or have abandoned the use of GMO ingredients.

Source:  abastomedia.com

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