Major Food Companies Shifting Toward Non-GMO
More multinational food companies have committed to label products that contain GMOs
General Mills. Post. Hershey's. Unilever. Pepsico. Those are just some of the top food corporations that have been persuaded since January 2014 by Green America's GMO Inside campaign and its supporters to remove genetically engineered (GE) ingredients from their products, and offer organic options and products made without genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
"We are now at the tipping point and with this major momentum the shift to non- GMO food is only going to gain more speed," said Todd Larsen, executive co- Director of Green America. "These 10 victories demonstrate the important role consumers play in shaping our food supply. As more and more consumers demand healthy, sustainable food made without GMOs, we expect more companies to follow suit and produce goods without GMOs. The victories to date are part of a larger trend towards simpler ingredients and transparency in GMO product labeling."
Green America's GMO Inside campaign cited these 10 major victories in less than two and a half years:
• Cheerios (General Mills) (January 2014): Removes GMOs from original Cheerios.
• Grape-Nuts (Post) (January 2014): Removes GMOs from Grape-Nuts, and obtains Non-GMO Project verification.
• Chobani (March 2014): Commits to working towards non-GMO & organic feed for dairy cows.
• Hershey's (February 2015): Removes GE ingredients from Kisses and milk chocolate bars.
• Hellmann's (Unilever) (May 2015): Offers non-GMO mayonnaise options.
• Similac (Abbott Laboratories) (May 2015): Introduces non-GMO infant formula.
• Campbell's (July 2015): Releases several organic and non-GMO products including organic soups and goldfish crackers made with organic wheat.
• Sabra Hummus (Partially owned by Pepsi) (May 2016): Removes GMOs from many hummus varieties.
• Enfamil (Mead Johnson Nutrition) (May 2016): Introduces non-GMO infant formula.
• Gerber Good Start (Nestle) (May 2016): Introduces non-GMO infant formula.
"Non-GMO and organic foods, which were once found only in natural food stores, are now mainstream, sold in major supermarkets nationwide," say Ken Roseboro, editor and publisher of The Organic & Non-GMO Report. "Major food companies are seeing the tremendous consumer demand for such products and introducing non-GMO and organic products to meet the demand. This shows that more and more consumers want simple, natural and organic foods without GMOs, pesticides, and unnatural ingredients that are hard to pronounce. These are not fads, they are trends."
"We are seeing a key shift in consumer demand for more organic and non-GMO products" says Tracy Miedema, vice president at Presence Marketing. "Since 2012, sales of non-GMO products have increased from $12.9 billion to $21.2 billion, and food companies are working to ensure that their products are non-GMO." "With sales of non-GMO and organic food growing faster than all other food categories, any food companies that fail to listen to our campaigns and to their own customers are going to lose out in the market," said John Roulac, GMO Inside co-chair and Nutiva CEO.
In addition to growing demand for non-GMO foods, consumers overwhelmingly want to know which products contain GMOs. In response, more multinational food companies have committed to label products that contain GMOs. Campbell's was the first major packaged food company to voluntarily label GMOs and end opposition to on- package GMO labels. Faced with consumer demand, and a soon to be enacted Vermont GMO labeling law, Kellogg's, Mars, General Mills, Con Agra and Del Monte have committed to label products made with GMOs. Dannon also recently committed to a broad sustainability and transparency agenda, which includes labeling GMOs, non-GMO ingredients, and non-GMO feed.