Mars Latest to Embrace GMO Labeling

Mars Co. is the latest consumer packaged goods company to say it will label its products containing genetically modified ingredients, in the wake of similar announcements from the Campbell Soup Co. and General Mills.

“In 2014, the state of Vermont passed a mandatory genetically modified (GM) ingredient labeling law that requires most human food products containing GM ingredients to include on-pack labeling as of July 2016,” the company explained in a posting on its website. “To comply with that law, Mars is introducing clear, on-pack labeling on our products that contain GM ingredients nationwide.”

According to McLean, Va.-based Mars, the decision is in keeping with the company’s commitment “to being transparent with our consumers so they can understand what’s in the products they love.” The company's product portfolio includes confectionery and pet food.

The move was hailed by the Washington, D.C.-based Environmental Working Group (EWG), whose SVP of governmental affairs, Scott Faber, noted: “This is yet another step forward in what has been a long march towards greater transparency. … As more companies take this step, we hope Congress will see the benefit of crafting a national GMO labeling solution that works for both industry and consumers.”

Gary Hirschberg, chairman of advocacy group Just Label It and Londonderry, N.H.-based Stonyfield Farm added that "Mars has proven they are a leader in the industry," going on to obseve, "As the tide of this debate turns with the announcement of companies like Mars, General Mills and Campbells, we hope Congress can come to an agreement over mandatory, national GMO labeling that works for everyone."

Mars' stance on GMO labeling comes just after a federal bill that would have established a federal labeling standard for foods containing GM ingredients failed to move to the Senate.

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