That Santa Cruz Organic© applesauce and peanut butter you’re feeding your kids? Although by law, they can’t contain genetically engineered ingredients, they might contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), according to a Santa Cruz customer service representative. The profoundly misinformed rep also wrongly stated that “the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have determined that existing biotech foods are safe and do not differ in any meaningful way from other food.” Really? And how did these agencies “determine” all this? By asking Monsanto, and then taking the biotech bully’s word for it.
Santa Cruz Organic and R.W. Knudsen are both owned by the J.M. Smucker Co., which contributed $555,000 to the $46-million war chest that helped narrowly defeat California’s Prop 37. Prop 37 was citizens’ initiative that would have required mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs.
Please fill out and send this letter. Tell executives at Smucker’s that you won’t buy their products – or the products of their organic subsidiaries – until they support state GMO labeling campaigns and discontinue all financial support for anti-labeling efforts.
Smucker’s, maker of products that are part of a staple diet for millions of American children, has successfully branded itself as a company that provides tasty, wholesome food for kids. In reality, the company sells a myriad of unhealthy products chock full of GMOs – including High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), a big contributor to America’s growing obesity problem.
Conflicts of Interest, Selling Out Children’s Health, and Denying Consumer Choice
Smucker’s serves on the Board of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), an organization on record claiming HFCS, full of GMO corn, is “natural.” The GMA spent $2 million to defeat Prop 37 which it claimed was its “single highest priority” for the year.
The GMA’s membership reads like a virtual who’s who of anti-worker, anti-health and anti-family farmer interests. Members include outsourcing trendsetter Bain and Company, notorious polluter Dow Chemical, anti-union heavyweights Safeway Inc. and Bayer, and Monsanto, the world’s largest pesticide corporation.
Julia Sabin, Vice President, Industry and Government Affairs at Smucker’s, just recently served as the President of the Board of the Organic Trade Association (OTA). The OTA sells itself as a friend to the organic movement when in fact it’s a trade association which represents large multinational companies that sell “natural” and conventional products made with GMO ingredients.
Companies like Smucker’s oppose labeling because they’ve built a business model that relies on a lack of food system transparency. Labeling GMOs threatens their stranglehold on consumer choice, and prevents small farmers, the organics industry, and truly natural food producers from competing on an equal playing field.