For Immediate Release

Grocery Manufacturers Association Holds 'Monsanto Ball' to Determine Fate of GMO Labeling in America

WASHINGTON - Statement by Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, a grassroots movement of more than 650,000 farmers and citizens on news that major food producers will meet to discuss GMO labeling at the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) meeting on Wednesday in DC:

“Today the world’s largest chemical and junk food companies are planning to meet behind closed doors in Washington, DC to determine the fate of GMO labeling in the U.S. As the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) holds their annual ‘Monsanto Ball’ to deny Americans a right to transparency by scheming to kill efforts across the county for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, hundreds of thousands of farmers and consumers across the country are paying attention.

It’s outrageous that companies like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Kraft, Kellogg’s and General Mills spent millions of dollars last year to deny American's their basic right to know what's in their food when they already label GMO ingredients in 64 other countries around the world, including all of Europe, Russia, China, India, South Africa and even Syria. American consumers have a right to know what’s in their food, and it's time that Monsanto and the GMA stop hiding those facts and America’s large food manufacturers endorse the labeling of genetically engineered foods.”

Polls have consistently shown that more than 90 percent of Americans support GMO labeling. It’s time for the hypocrisy on genetically engineered foods to end in the land of the free and the home of the brave and we urge the Grocery Manufacturers Association to stop opposing GMO-labeling nationwide.”

For more information.

In 2012, Monsanto was the top contributor to the GMA’s campaign to defeat GMO labeling and Prop 37 last year, contributing over 8.1 million dollars in 2012. Other top contributors include Pepsi Co. at 2.48 million dollars in 2012, Kraft Foods at 2 million dollars in 2012 and Coca-Cola at 1.7 million dollars in 2012.

This year, 26 states have introduced legislation to label genetically engineered foods, with GMO labeling bills recently passing in Connecticut and Maine. A GMO labeling bill also passed the Vermont House this spring and awaits passage as early as next January in the Vermont Senate. Similar legislation has been introduced in Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Monsanto and the GMA have expressed fears over the passage of the upcoming ballot initiative in Washington State this fall, similar to the one in California, which places the issue of labeling genetically engineered foods before a popular statewide vote.

For interviews with Dave Murphy from Food Democracy Now!, please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at brett@fitzgibbonmedia.com.

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