Campbell Soup Ditches Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, Commits To Label GMO Ingredients

By On July 23, 2017

by Jenny Hopkinson (with help from Catherine Boudreau, Luis Sanchez, Doug Palmer, and Helena Bottemiller Evich) for Politico, 21 July 2017

Campbell Soup Co. will leave the Grocery Manufacturers Association by the end of the year over concerns that the trade association no longer represents its views. The move stems from GMA’s hardline stance on GMO labeling.

Campbell Chief Executive Denise Morrison told investors earlier this week that the move was not for financial reasons but instead was “driven by purpose and principles”.

Campbell has long been vocal about increasing transparency of its ingredients. The company, which owns the Pepperidge Farm, Prego and V8 brands, split from the rest of the food industry in January 2016 with a commitment to label all of its products containing genetically modified ingredients. It also supported efforts to make such labeling mandatory.

GMA at the time was still pushing for a prohibition on GMO disclosures on food products. “We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food,” CEO Denise Morrison said in a memo to employees at the time on the company’s decision.

Goodbye, old friend: GMA spokesman Roger Lowe noted in a statement to MA that companies drop their membership from time to time, and highlighted that the group has brought on new members of all sizes from throughout the industry this year. “They tell us they are joining GMA because they want to be part of our work committed to consumer transparency, sustainability, food safety, nutrition and retailer collaboration,” Lowe said, adding: “We will miss Campbell’s participation and wish them well.”