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Consumers and health advocates launched a campaign calling on Stop & Shop to label its store-brand products for ingredients derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), on the one year anniversary of Whole Foods’ announcement that it will adopt labeling for all products in its stores.
“Whole Foods took a big step, and it’s time for Stop & Shop to deliver for its customers,” said Sean Doyle, Program Associate with ConnPIRG. “Consumers have real concerns about GMOs, including the way they lead to increased pesticide use, and they have a right to know what’s in their food.”
As part of the event, ConnPIRG also released a report documenting other recent actions companies have taken in response to consumers’ desire for better information about GMO ingredients in their food. In addition to Whole Foods’ commitment to labeling, other recent actions include:
• Chipotle and Ben & Jerry’s announced they will label the food they sell for GMO ingredients, and eventually move towards phasing out those ingredients.
• Both Cheerios and Grape-Nuts are going GMO-free.
• The Non-GMO Project, which offers voluntary GMO labeling, in 2013 saw a 300% year-over-year increase in producer interest.
“Polls consistently show more than 90% of the public supports labeling,” continued Doyle. “It’s just smart business sense for companies to give their customers what they want.”
As part of its campaign to persuade Stop & Shop to label its store-brand products for GMOs, ConnPIRG has gathered over 250 petitions, and is building a coalition of community, consumer, health, and environmental groups that support GMO labeling
In Connecticut, a labeling law was passed last year, but will not go into effect until 4 other states pass similar labeling laws. Beth Beisel, R.D. and Executive Director of ConnFACT, the parent organization for GMO Free CT, notes, "ConnPIRG's Stop & Shop campaign will illuminate the success that GMO Free CT achieved last year when the first GMO labeling legislation in the country was passed."
“Our concern is that genetic engineering is a new science and technology," said Ian Skoggard, a Ministerial Intern with the United Church of Christ which has passed a resolution supporting GMO labeling. "We still do not know the long term health and environmental consequences [of GMOs] and so should proceed with mindfulness and responsibility. ”
“GMO labeling is a common-sense solution that will help Shop & Shop’ customers know what’s on their plates,” concluded Doyle. “On the anniversary of Whole Foods’ commitment, it’s time for Stop & Shop to do the same.”
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