State-based labeling laws
Nov. 13, 2012
General Mills has long opposed state-based labeling laws. We believe labeling regulations should be set at the national level, not state-by-state.
Because state-based laws would require companies to label products differently in each state – increasing the cost for companies and consumers alike – most companies take a similar view.
In November 2012, California voters rejected a state-based labeling proposition because it could have allowed lawyers to sue farmers, grocers, and food companies without any proof of violation or harm. Such lawsuits would have cost millions for food companies, farmers, grocers and ultimately the people of California.
Propositions such as the one rejected by California voters also stand to add new bureaucracy, red tape and costs for state taxpayers. Though labeling would apply only to a state enacting such laws, food companies would have to set up separate production runs, possibly even separate distribution networks for their products sold in just that state. This would likely increase the cost of food for all consumers.
Biotechnology – also called genetic engineering (GE) or genetic modification (GMO) – has been used for nearly two decades in certain varieties of corn, soybeans and other crops, helping plants resist diseases or insects, or enabling the use of less pesticide. Hundreds of scientific studies have concluded that foods made with GE ingredients are safe.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is on record. FDA has said a labeling policy like this “would be inherently misleading.” Even the American Medical Association recently concluded that “there is no scientific justification for special labeling of bioengineered foods.”
That said, while General Mills has long believed that authority to regulate such labeling should continue to reside with the FDA, not the individual states, we also believe in providing consumers with options.
General Mills offers a wide range of certified organic products that, by definition, do not and cannot use biotechnology.
With our Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen products, as well as products like Gold Medal Organic flour, we are a leader in offering consumers a choice of non-biotech organic branded foods.
For more information about our organic products, visit us at SmallPlanetFoods.com.