Food Companies Fighting GMO Labeling

Washington State’s GMO Labeling Ballot Initiative (I-522)

I-522 would have mandated clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) ingredients on food packages. The initiative was voted on in 2013. It lost, 51% to 49%. Among the companies who fought the labeling requirements, and money they spent on the ‘No on 522’ campaign were:

companies against gmo labels

  1. Monsanto: $5,374,411
  2. DuPont: $3,880,159
  3. PepsiCo Inc.: $2,352,966
  4. Coca-Cola: $1,520,351
  5. Nestle USA: $1,528,206
  6. General Mills: $869,271
  7. Bayer CropScience: $591,645
  8. Dow Agrosciences: $591,645
  9. BASF Plant Science: $500,000
  10. ConAgra Foods: $828,251
  11. Campbell Soup Co.: $384,888
  12. Hershey Company: $360,450
  13. Smucker’s Jam: $349,977
  14. Kellogg Co.: $322,050
  15. The Hillshire Brands Company: $282,775
  16. Mondelez International (Nabisco, Oreo): $210,336
  17. Flowers Foods (Nature’s Own, Wonder Bread): $205,099
  18. Dean Foods (Land ‘O Lakes, Meadow Gold): $174,553
  19. Land O’ Lakes: $144,878
  20. Cargill & Co.: $143,133
  21. Bimbo Bakeries (Sara Lee and Ball Park): $137,460
  22. Del Monte: $125,677
  23. Abbott Nutrition (infant formula like Pedialyte, Similac): $121,296
  24. Ocean Spray Cranberries: $80,295
  25. Hormel Foods: $76,803

After the election, the Washington State attorney general sued the Grocery Manufacturers Association of Washington for violating campaign disclosure laws. As of April 2016, the case has yet to come to trial. The latest postponement came when the GMA failed to meet deadlines for disclosing information.

Said Washington attorney general Bob Ferguson: “This attempt to introduce records at the last minute, after resisting our efforts to obtain them earlier in the process, continues GMA’s pattern of trying to hide the ball from the people of Washington. However long it takes, I am committed to holding GMA accountable for its elaborate scheme to shield its members’ contributions from the public.”

California’s Proposition 37

Many large food and seed corporations sunk over $46 million into the fight to defeat Proposition 37 in California, which would have required food companies to list genetically modified ingredients on the labels of its products sold in retail stores. It would have also prevented the labeling of GMO foods as “natural.” The law would would have affected California, but because Californians make up 12% of the U.S. population, those Californian labels would have spilled over to other states as well. Currently food processors list ingredients, calorie, nutritional value and peanut content. Adding GMO ingredients to that list will benefit those who wish to steer clear, until GMO foods are deemed safe and healthy into the long term (yet many feel certain GMOs will never be proven healthy).

The record keeping necessary for the added labels will also help keep track of ecological issues such as gene flow between GMOs and the surrounding ecology, weed killer’s affects, pest and superweed resistance and a host of other ecological issues that could potentially arise with rampant GMO use. This bill would have slowed down the influx of GM crops and help keep track of GMOs impacts.

Currently Europe, Russia, China, Japan, Mexico, Australia and numerous other countries require that food labels list genetically modified ingredients. Why hasn’t the the U.S. insisted on this labeling? Because many large corporations are fighting to keep the U.S. consumer in the dark. Let us know, if there are GMOs. We should have the right to know!

Money Spent To Keep GMO Off Of Labels In California

Ironically most of the companies lobbying against Prop 37 have a stake in the organic industry. See that list below, it might surprise you.

  1. Monsanto: $7,100,000.
  2. DuPont: $5,200,000.
  3. PepsiCo Inc.: $2,500,000.
  4. BASF Plant Science: $2,000,000
  5. Bayer CropScience: 2,000,000
  6. Dow Agrosciences: $2,000,000
  7. Syngenta Corp: $2,000,000
  8. Kraft Foods: $2,000,000.
  9. Coca-Cola: $1,700,000.
  10. Nestle USA: $1,315,400.
  11. ConAgra Foods: $1,200,000.
  12. General Mills: $1,200,000.
  13. Del Monte: $674,000.
  14. Kellogg Co.: $790,700.
  15. Smithfield: $671,000.
  16. Council for Biotechnology Information: $625,000.
  17. Heinz: $500,000.
  18. Hershey Company: $493,900.
  19. J.M. Smucker Co.: $555,000.
  20. Grocery Manufacturers Association: $375,000.
  21. Hormel Foods Corp.: $374,300.
  22. Unilever: $ 460,000.
  23. Mars Food North America: $370,280.
  24. Bimbo Bakeries USA: $422,900.
  25. Ocean Spray Cranberries: $326,500.
  26. Campbell Soup Co.: $320,455.
  27. Pinnacle Foods Group LLC: $266,100.
  28. Dean Foods Co.: $253,950.
  29. Biotech Industry Organization: $250,000.
  30. McCormick & Co. Inc.: $248,200.
  31. Abbott Nutrition (Infant Formulas / Similac): $230,900.
  32. Rich Products Corp.: $225,500.
  33. Cargill Inc.: $226,800.
  34. Welch’s: $167,000.
  35. Knouse Foods Cooperative: $160,300.
  36. W.M. Wrigley Jr. Co.: $116,900.
  37. Sunny Delight Beverages Co.: $114,500.
  38. Tree Top: $110,300.
  39. Bumble Bee Foods: $98,000.
  40. Sara Lee Corp.: $96,800.
  41. Hillshire Brands (Ball Park, Jimmy Dean): $86,000.
  42. McCain Foods USA: $50,600.
  43. Dole Packaged Foods Co.: $45,580.
  44. Goya: $ 56,100
  45. Clorox: $33,000
  46. S & W: $21,100

Organic And Natural Food Brands Owned By Big Corporations

Coca-Cola: Honest Tea, Odwalla, Simply Orange.

Cadbury: Green and Black’s Chocolate, Nantucket Nectars.

ConAgra: Alexia,  Hunt’s Organic,  Lightlife (vegetarian and vegan meat substitutes like Smart Deli),  Orville Redenbacher’s Organic.

General Mills: Cascadia Farms, Cheerios, Food Should Taste Good, Larabar, Muir Glen, Nature Valley.

Groupe Danone: Stonyfield Farm.

Hershey’s: Dagoba Chocolate.

Hain-Celestial (partially owned by Heinz): Arrowhead Mills, Bearitos, Breadshop Cereals, Casbah, Celestial Seasonings, DeBoles Pasta, Earth’s Best, Ethnic Gourmet,  Garden of Eatin’, Gluten Free, Greek God’s, Hain Pure, Health Valley, Imagine Soups, Linda McCartney, Maranatha nut butters, Mountain Sun Juices, Nile Spice Soup,  Rice Dream, Sensible Portions, ShariAnn’s, Soy Dream, Terra Chips, TofuTown, Walnut Acres, Westbrae Natural, WestSoy, Yves Meatless.

JM Smucker: After the Fall, R.W. Knudsen, Santa Cruz Organic.

Kellogg: Bear Naked, Gardenburger, Kashi, Morningstar Farms, Natural Touch, Wholesome & Hearty. (Kashi cereals contain GMOs!)

Kraft: Boca, Back to Nature.

Mars/M&M: Seeds of Change

Nestle: Tribe Mediterranean Foods

Pepsi: Dole, Harvest Crunch, Izze, Naked Juice, Ocean Spray, Tazo, Tostito’s Organic, Tropicana.

Rich’s: Fresh Meadow

Unilever: Ben & Jerry’s, Knorr, Salada

Personal Care Brands Owned By Big Corporations

Clorox: Burt’s Bees.

Colgate-Palmolive: Tom’s of Maine.

Hain Celestial: Alba Botanica, Avalon Organics, Jason, Orjene, Queen Helene, Zia.

Private/Small Companies That Support GMO Labeling

Only a handful listed. For a larger listing:

  • Alvarado Street Bakery
  • Amy’s Kitchen
  • Ancient Organics
  • Annie’s
  • AppleGate Farms
  • Aubrey Organics
  • Bob’s Red Mill
  • Cedarlane
  • Earthbound Farms
  • Eden Foods
  • Equal Exchange
  • Frey Vineyards
  • Golden Temple (Yogi Tea & Peace Cereal)
  • Lundberg Family Farms
  • Nature’s Path
  • Newman’s Own
  • Nutiva
  • Organic Valley
  • Pacific Natural Foods
  • Simply Organic
  • Tofurky
  • Turtle Mountain

companies supporting gmo labeling

To Donate/Volunteer To Support GMO Labeling

Food Democracy Now!

Written by Keiren

Keiren is an artist who lives in New York City. A lover of animals, nature, science & green building. Keiren originally founded Inspiration Green in 2007, which merged with Insteading in 2016.


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