You’ll Never Believe Who Spoke Up for Non-GMO at General Mills…
The Great Granddaughter of General Mills’ Co-Founder Speaks Out
Robyn O’Brien – Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Today, at General Mills’ shareholder meeting, something remarkable happened. And if it doesn’t speak to the changing food landscape in the U.S., I don’t know what does.
Shareholders were set to vote on an initiative calling for the removal of genetically engineered ingredients from all General Mills’ products. Even though General Mills announced that they would be removing genetically engineered ingredients from Cheerios earlier this year, the measure did not look likely to pass.
All eyes were on the vote, though, especially in the aftermath of the announcement that General Mills was acquiring Annie’s Homegrown.
So what happened? The great granddaughter of the co-founder of General Mills spoke up.
“As a proud stockholder, I am concerned about our reputation as a company that uses genetically modified organisms,” Harriett Crosby told the annual meeting crowd.
“I think we can do better and improve our brand and the value of General Mills by eliminating GMOs from our products.”
Crosby cited one irrefutable truth about GMOs: General Mills already produces GMO-free versions of its products in Europe and parts of Asia and already labels them in 63 countries around the worldl.
So, Crosby asked, “Why not here?”
Why not here?
American food companies already label genetically engineered ingredients or make their products without them in Europe, Asia and 64 countries around the world. They are doing it for all of our key U.S. trading partners and the families that live in those countries, but they are hiding these ingredients from families in the United States.
More than 100 scientific and public health institutions around the world support GMO labeling to track potential allergic reactions. The United Nation and the World Health Organizations’ food standards group and the American Medical Association have called for mandatory safety testing – a standard that the U.S. currently fails to meet.
General Mills already labels these ingredients in their products that they sell overseas.
For the company to continue to take an anti-labeling position on this changing landscape of health and consumer demand, while holding the opposite position overseas, is not in the best interest of shareholders. It’s a double standard.
Editor’s note: not to sound cynical, but upon reading the conclusion it really looks like General Mills is stalling and does not plan on changing things in the U.S. Let’s not forget they have donated over $1 million to suppress labeling initiatives. Right now, labeling initiatives are going on at the state level – the only level approachable right now thanks to consumer demand – so by GM saying they will support federal level initiatives, it’s like saying “when pigs fly.” Right now, the federal level proposal regarding GMO foods does not have a good platform!!
Readers, what say you?