Make us your home page
Instagram

General Mills to label products with GMOs ahead of Vermont law

NEW YORK — General Mills said Friday that it will start labeling products across the country that contain genetically modified ingredients to comply with a law that is set to go into effect in Vermont.

The maker of Cheerios cereal, Progresso soups and Yoplait yogurt notes it is impractical to label its products for just one state, so the disclosures required by Vermont starting in July will be on its products throughout the United States.

The labeling will appear on products over the next several weeks, General Mills spokesman Mike Siemienas said. In the meantime, the Minneapolis-based company said people could search its website at ask.generalmills.com to see which products have GMOs.

Examples of General Mills products that use genetically engineered ingredients include varieties of Cheerios, Cocoa Puffs, Franken Berry, Hamburger Helper, Kix, Nature Valley bars and Pillsbury pancake batter.

The move by General Mills Inc. comes as federal legislation regarding the labeling of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, has stalled in Congress. The food industry has called for voluntary labeling of GMOs, and sought to prohibit states from enacting a patchwork of laws around the country.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the nation's largest food companies, said in a statement that the decision by General Mills underscored the need for a national law.

"One small state's law is setting labeling standards for consumers across the country," the association said.

In January, Campbell Soup Co. broke rank with the industry and said it supported federal legislation for mandatory labeling. General Mills did not say it supported mandatory labeling.

Campbell also said in January it would independently disclose the presence of GMOs in its products if a federal labeling standard wasn't established in a "reasonable amount of time." But the disclosure may be easy to miss, unless people are looking for it.

An image provided by Campbell to illustrate compliance with the Vermont law showed a can of Spaghetti-Os with the words "Partially produced with genetic engineering" in tiny print at the bottom of the back of the can.

Genetically modified seeds are engineered to have certain traits, such as resistance to herbicides. The majority of the country's corn and soybean crop is now genetically modified, with much of that going to animal feed. Corn and soybeans also are made into widely used ingredients such as high-fructose corn syrup, corn starch and soybean oil.

The Food and Drug Administration has said that genetically modified ingredients on the market are safe. But advocates for labeling say the issue needs additional study. Among supporters of labeling are many organic companies; products cannot contain GMOs to qualify as organic.

General Mills to label products with GMOs ahead of Vermont law 03/18/16 [Last modified: Friday, March 18, 2016 9:45pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. PunditFact: George Will's comparison of tax preparers, firefighters based on outdated data

    Business

    The statement

    "America has more people employed as tax preparers (1.2 million) than as police and firefighters."

    George Will, July 12 in a column

    The ruling

    WASHINGTON - JANUARY 08: Conservative newspaper columnist George Will poses on the red carpet upon arrival at a salute to FOX News Channel's Brit Hume on January 8, 2009 in Washington, DC. Hume was honored for his 35 years in journalism. (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
  2. Appointments at Shutts & Bowen and Tech Data highlight this week's Tampa Bay business Movers & Shakers

    Business

    Legal

    Retired U.S. Navy Commander Scott G. Johnson has joined Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office as a senior attorney in the firm's Government Contracts and Corporate Law Practice Groups. Johnson brings 15 years of legal experience and 24 years of naval service to his position. At Shutts, Scott will …

    United States Navy Commander (Retired) Scott G. Johnson joins Shutts & Bowen LLP in its Tampa office. [Company handout]
  3. Macy's chairman replaces ex-HSN head Grossman on National Retail Federation board

    Retail

    Terry Lundgren, chairman of Macy's Inc., will replace Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman as chair of the National Retail Federation, the organization announced Wednesday. Grossman stepped down from her position following her move from leading St. Petersburg-based HSN to Weight Watchers.

    Weight Watchers CEO and former HSN chief Mindy Grossman is being replaced as chair of the National Retail Federation. [HSN Inc.]
  4. Unexpected weak quarter at MarineMax slashes boating retailer shares nearly 25 percent

    Business

    CLEARWATER — Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water, a boating business leader issued a small craft warning.

    Bill McGill Jr., CEO of Clearwater's MarineMax, the country's biggest recreational boat retailer. [Courtesy of MarineMax]
  5. CapTrust moving headquarters to downtown Park Tower

    Corporate

    TAMPA — CAPTRUST Advisors, a Raleigh, N.C.-based investment consulting firm, is moving its Tampa offices into Park Tower. CapTrust's new space will be 10,500 square feet — the entirety of the 18th floor of the downtown building, which is scheduled to undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation by 2018.

    CAPTRUST Advisors' Tampa location is moving into Park Tower. Pictured is the current CapTrust location at 102 W. Whiting St. | [Times file photo]