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HIGHLAND PARK – Consumers and 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 now it’s time for Stop&Shop to deliver for its customers as well,” said Peter Skopec, Program Associate with the NJPIRG Law & Policy Center. “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, NJPIRG Law & Policy Center 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.
And just this week, Kroger and Safeway joined other grocery chains, including Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and Target by announcing they would not sell genetically engineered salmon, even if it’s approved for sale.
“Polls consistently show more than 90% of the public supports labeling,” continued Skopec. “It’s just smart business sense for companies to give their customers what they want.”
NJPIRG’s effort to persuade Stop&Shop to label its store-brand products for GMOs comes as bills to require GMO labeling advance in the New Jersey State House and in Congress. Over the past two months, NJPIRG has educated nearly 8,000 New Jerseyans across the state on the importance of GMO labeling and gathered over 2,400 petitions to companies and decision-makers.
“Labeling ultimately gives consumers the right to accurately determine what is being put into their food, especially given that no long-term health and environmental impact studies have been conducted,” said Assemblywoman Linda Stender, the sponsor of a bill to require GMO labeling in New Jersey. “The purpose of my bill, A1359, is very simple: enable consumers in the state to make knowledgeable decisions about food consumption.”
“GMO labeling is a common-sense solution that will help Stop&Shop’s customers know what’s on their plates,” concluded Skopec. “On the anniversary of Whole Foods’ commitment, it’s time for Stop&Shop to do the same.”
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