Industry Giants Mobilizing to Kill Growing Anti-GMO Movement

As grassroots GMO labeling movement gains steam, group that spent millions to defeat Prop. 37 prepares for 'pivotal GMO battle'

Food giants such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Kraft Foods, Coca Cola and General Mills are mobilizing to counter the power of the growing grassroots movement across the U.S. to have GMO foods labeled, and are getting ready to battle what they see as an "unprecedented period of turmoil" for GMO corporations.

In a letter seen by The Hill, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), who will be holding the summit of food industry corporate giants next Wednesday in D.C., told their 300 prospective attendees that they have "reached a pivotal point" in the GMO effort and "believe now is the time" to act in unison against the movement to label GMOs.

However, exactly what steps the food industry will plot is yet to be told, The Hill notes:

Though organizers of the GMA summit were tight-lipped, advocates and industry officials said the options could ultimately range from a coordinated attack against labels to acceptance of a national standard.

There are currently proposals to label GMOs pending in 25 state legislatures and a ballot initiative in the works in Washington, but the food industry has shown it is willing to fight dirty in order to keep mandatory labels off.

"Last year, major chemical and food companies spent more than $40 million in California to defeat a ballot measure that called for mandatory labels of all scientifically engineered foods sold in the state," The Hill reports.

In that battle, the GMA poured over $2 million to defeat the measure, and said the fight was "the single-highest priority for GMA" that year.

"As the policy debate surrounding this issue moves forward, GMA will continue to work with its supply chain partners to inform lawmakers and consumers about the significant negative impacts such labeling requirements will have on both businesses and consumers," the group said in a written statement to The Hill.

As the food giants prepare to gather at the GMA summit in Washington next Wednesday, the battle appears to be heating up.


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